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.