Every once in a while I write a blog post about what the Columbus Blue Jackets organization has done for me. Today is different. Today I write about what the Columbus Blue Jackets did for someone else. Ryan Salmons was an avid Columbus Blue Jackets fan. During the 2008-2009 season Salmons was undergoing cancer treatments and had a chance to meet many of the players. On November 12th 2008 he was invited to meet with the on ice officials before the Coyotes game and given a special officials uniform. Salmons was then given a tour of the Columbus Blue Jackets locker room with Jason Chimera and Manny Malhotra as his tour guides. I bet you think the story ends here. It doesn’t. On March 25th, 2009 the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Ryan Salmons to a $3 one-day contract. Marc Methot even  gave up his number for the cause. Ryan even got to appear on ESPN with Jason Chimera to talk about the signing. You can watch the video here.  When the Blue Jackets made it to their first playoff appearance in franchise history Salmons was given tickets in section 103 to cheer on his former teammates. On May 1st, 2009 Ryan Salmons lost his battle with cancer. The support of the Blue Jackets didn’t stop with Ryan’s death. Not only did they come to the funeral they also provided a meal for the family to have afterwards.

The Blue Jackets may not have the best record, the most banners, or even a Stanley Cup. They do have the biggest hearts across the league. Stories like these are why I love the Columbus Blue Jackets. They go above and beyond what is required of an organization.

This year I have teamed up with the Columbus Blue Jackets to raise money to put an end to cancer.For the Blue Jackets Movember isn’t just about raising awareness. Movember is about remembering a former member of the organization. Please donate for the cause here . Most importantly spread this story of compassion around. The Blue Jackets are constantly a joke in the NHL. They are more than a joke. They are compassionate and loving. How many other organizations are this way with their fans?

 

 

 

Long before sparkly vampires and hairy werewolves there lived an extraordinary Cullen. A man who played in the NHL from 1987-1998 for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Whalers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Tampa Bay Lightening. In 1991 with 94 points in the first 65 games Cullen was revered as one of the best offensive linemen for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After the greatest season of his life Cullen was tossed around from team to team. In 1995 Cullen signed with the Tampa Bay Lightening. Cullen began to flourish and helped lead the Lightening to their first playoff berth in franchise history. During the 96-97 season Cullen was tearing up the ice and leading his team in scoring all while dealing with prolonged flu symptoms. Except, it wasn’t the flu. In March of 1997 a grapefruit sized tumor was found in Cullen’s chest. Further tests revealed he had Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Just like that Cullen’s season was over. He immediately began intensive chemotherapy. By September the tumor was gone but his body was still housing cancer cells. During the new round of treatments Cullen went into cardiac arrest. It was then when they decided Cullen would have a bone marrow transplant. The transplant lowered Cullen’s immune system to the point where he could only have minimal human contact. Luckily the bone marrow transplant worked and in April of 1998 Cullen was deemed cancer free. Cullen played 8 games with the Lightening and then was sent down to the Cleveland Lumberjacks before deciding to retire. At the end of the 98-99 season Cullen was awarded the Masterton Memorial Trophy for his comeback.

Thanks to aggressive cancer treatments Cullen was able to come out on top. Please help more stories like this happen by donating to Movember here. We can help put an end to cancer one dollar at a time. If you can’t donate please spread this story of strong will and hope around. It’s the least we can do.

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