Members of the hockey community raise funds for Kushneriuk

RMU NCAA men's hockey

Brooke Smith, Copy Editor

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On Monday, December 3, 2012, former Robert Morris University men’s hockey captain, Chris Kushneriuk, left his home in Ottawa, Ontario and headed to Indianapolis, Indiana to receive his next round of treatments for testicular cancer.

Since Kushneriuk is from Canada, he will not have insurance in the United States, and his medical bills will be expensive.

The RMU NCAA men’s hockey team has raised funds in various ways for Kushneriuk, and now others are getting involved too.

Members of both the Bakersfield Condors and Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL have been doing their part to raise money for their former teammate.

Wheeling Nailers defenseman, Zach Hansen along with his teammates knew they wanted to get involved to help Kushneriuk in any way possible.

“We had heard RMU athletics were already under way with efforts to raise money, and we knew we needed to get things going to help him with his battle in Wheeling,” said Hansen. “Chris would do the same for anyone else in his situation. The hockey community is very small family.

Kushneriuk’s former teammate at RMU, Tommy Brooks, rejoined the Bobby Mo Bros on Movember.com to help support the cause.
“I decided to rejoin the Bobby Mo Bro’s this year in large part due to support my former teammate and captain Chris Kushneriuk,” said Brooks. “I had a lot of fun doing it in years past and it took on a whole new meaning when Kush got his diagnosis this past summer.”

Along with Hansen, Brooks wanted to do something to raise awareness, “I felt like it was a great way to bring awareness to his situation and wanted to do my part to help shed light on this health issue,” said Brooks.

Currently, there are two Chris Kushneriuk game worn jerseys up for auction. If you would like to bid on the jerseys, please visit http://auction.nhl.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/User?id=meiECHL2&wl=12717464&type=L

Also, during two Nailers home games, they set up a table to raise awareness and collect donations for Kushneriuk. “The Nailers hockey community responded passionately,” said Hansen. “We couldn’t have been happier.”

Hansen also noted that there is also a website that people can go to if they would like to donate to Kushneriuk or just to learn more about his story.

“Recently with the help of Gary Piganell, Team Chaplain-Wheeling Nailers with Hockey Ministries International, we set up a website www.chriskushneriuk.org to again let Chris’s story be heard as well as a place for people to go and donate.

This year, Brooks had $2,170 donated to his personal “MoSpace” on Movember.com. “To be honest, it is very rewarding knowing that so many people close to me were so generous and supportive of what I was trying to help do,” admitted Brooks. “It really blew me away.”
Brooks also wanted to let people know that it’s important to donate to men’s cancer research.

“It is so important for people to donate to this cause because not many people are aware of the age of the people that it affects,” said Brooks. “The more people donate, the more that people talk about it, so only good things can come from that.”

There will also be various items up for auction at the Three Rivers Classic on Dec. 28 and 29 with the proceeds going to help Kushneriuk. Some of those items include, an autographed Mario Lemieux jersey, Sidney Crosby and Craig Adams hockey sticks, and many more autographed memorabilia.

If you would like to donate to Kushneriuk, please visit www.chriskushneriuk.org

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