The Anaheim Ducks will honor a 17-year-old from Ladera Ranch who has been fighting cancer for the last eight years at Thursday evening’s season opener against the Arizona Coyotes at Honda Center.
Katie Hawley will join the team on the ice as the “21st Duck,” honoring a fan who exhibits great perseverance, character, courage and inspiration.
Hawley was first diagnosed with cancer when she was 9 years old. She has undergone at least a dozen surgeries, two dozen chemotherapy sessions, 30 radiation treatments, 80 scans, and 40 blood transfusions.
Hawley was diagnosed with cancer for the third time in December and told her parents that she did not want to fight anymore.燬he was then given tickets to attend a Ducks game with her family and credits watching that game and her favorite player, center Rickard Rakell, as a key to re-energizing her drive to beat the disease.
Hawley is a Courageous Kid with the Jessie Rees Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is ensuring that every child fighting cancer has the support to never give up by connecting with families, bringing awareness to their stories, offering resources and sending the entire family encouragement.
Hawley has also helped raise awareness through the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s 5K run, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and has created her own way to give back to patients in need through S.O.S., Stuff Our Slippers, a club meeting monthly to fill slippers with toys, crafts, crayons and play dough to help other children in the hospital through tough times.
—City News Service