Hockey Fights Cancer Night with the Columbus Blue Jackets
Hockey Fights Cancer™ is an initiative that was founded in 1998 by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association to increase cancer awareness. Each season, every team in the league hosts a Hockey Fights Cancer™ night where patients, survivors and physicians in the community are celebrated.
Recently, the Columbus Blue Jackets held their Hockey Fights Cancer™ night and as the official healthcare provider of the Blue Jackets, OhioHealth was honored to participate in the evening.
As they entered Nationwide Arena, fans were handed light purple rally towels (the color represents awareness for all cancers) and battle cards to write who they fight cancer for. Once on the concourse, many visited the big blue OhioHealth cancer ribbon to pin their own ribbon in honor of themselves or someone they are fighting for. Fans were also able to dress up and take fun photos in the OhioHealth photo booth.
Once they reached their seats, they were greeted with information about prostate cancer, including the screening guidelines that OhioHealth follows. As prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men (second only to skin cancer), OhioHealth wanted to use the evening to raise awareness and promote screenings. You can download the information by clicking on the PDF link under "downloads" on the right side of the page.
During the first period, fans in the arena heard from Ryan Hedgepeth, MD, a urologic oncologist with OhioHealth, who was interviewed live on the scoreboard by in-arena host Mike Todd. Dr. Hedgepeth talked about the prevalence of prostate cancer and how men can be screened for it. You can view his scoreboard interview below.
Fans who weren’t at the game in person were able to get a taste of Hockey Fights Cancer™ during the game’s first intermission. Ronney Abaza, MD, FACS, a urologic robotic surgeon with OhioHealth, was interviewed live about prostate cancer on CD102.5 radio. Dr. Abaza talked about raising awareness, screening, risk factors and more. You can hear the interview in its entirety by clicking here.
During the second intermission, certified MD Anderson Cancer Network® physicians Dr. Abaza, Dr. Hedgepeth and Thomas Pedrick, MD, a radiation oncologist with OhioHealth and a, were honored on the ice, along with prostate cancer survivors and OhioHealth patients Ulysses and Neal. Survivors of any type of cancer were also invited to stand and be recognized. The ceremony was emceed by ABC6/FOX28 news anchor Kurt Ludlow, who is a prostate cancer survivor and recently had his prostate cancer surgery at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. You can view the ceremony below.
A t-shirt toss was also held during the game, where fans had the opportunity catch Blue Jackets and OhioHealth themed long-sleeved t-shirts to commemorate the evening.
It was an inspiring evening that helped spread awareness about prostate cancer and to encourage men to get screened. And, the icing on the cake was that the Blue Jackets beat the St. Louis Blues 8-4.
To see more photos from the event, search the hashtags #CBJHFC and #UnitedWeFightCancer on social media.