STOCKHOLM, NJ – Newton Lenape Valley ice hockey team held their annual charity game at Skylands Ice World, raising about $1,000 for an 8-year-old Andover boy battling cancer. The game against Parsippany Regional was the backdrop against several events and fundraising opportunities for Hayden Marshall, including a visit from New York Ranger JT Miller.
“Hayden is a great little kid who my family has gotten to know in the past few months,” NLV coach Ryan Sevean said. “He is a big hockey fan.”
Before warm ups Hayden led the players from both teams on a lap around the rink. After warm ups and the National Anthem Marshall and Miller did a ceremonial puck drop to start the game.
Miller and his wife spent time at Skylands with Hayden, his mother Amy, father Steve and sister Hannah. In addition to the game they enjoyed the events that included raffles and door prized.
Each year NLV tries to do a charity game to bring awareness to a community cause, Sevean said.
“This year we had a future NLV player going through a battle,” Sevean said. “I knew right away who we needed to play for.”
The game brought out several younger players from the NLV middle school, squirt and peewee teams. They were invited to join the teams onto the ice for the anthem and a team photo.
Marshall was initially diagnosed with Metastatic Ewing Sarcoma last February, when he was seven. He had complained about his foot hurting and after an “incorrect diagnosis of a healing broken bone” a second opinion uncovered the rare and aggressive cancer, according to information from the family.
Metastatic Ewing Sarcoma typically develops in bone or soft tissue around the bone. In Marshall, the cancer traveled to his lungs. After confirmation with biopsies of the tumor, bone marrow and lymph node Marshall began chemotherapy on February 27, 2017, according to information from the parents.
The treatment required surgery to remove the tumor and radiation on the lungs, in addition to the chemotherapy. He received his treatments in Hackensack Meridian Hospital, requiring hospital stays of up to a week, according to the family.
Marshall also receives transfusions of red blood cells and platelets to keep him healthy, the family says. In January, for the first time in a year, Marshall returned to school. The Ranger and Giants fan enjoys family time watching the games, with his parents and “number one fan, 5-year-old sister Hannah,” according to the family.
Marshall will continue to be monitored and tested every three months for the next two years. According to the family, as long as his scans continue to come out clean he will be able to say he is cancer free in 2027.
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