Friday, January 14, 2011

Heroes, Cancer, & More Humble Pie for an HR Guy

Wednesday night I went to an NHL game and watched my Tampa Bay Lightning win against "our" arch rival for first place.  I cheered, the crowd roared, and our team played well.  As part of that experience, I had the privilege of enjoying the game with a family whose child is battling cancer and is a patient where I work. 

Following the game we visited with Vincent Lecavalier, now Captain of the Lightning, in an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience.  

You see, "Vinny" is so committed to supporting children with cancer that his Vinny4 Foundation donated $3,000,000 to build a world-class cancer unit in my hospital.  

When Vinny came into the holding room after the game for our visit, and that young boy recognized him (because he had visited the boy when he was in the hospital), his little face lit up, he smiled, and stretched out his arms and ran over to hug him...and hug him...and hug him.  And Vinny leaned over and hugged him right back.

And I stood there.  We all stood there.  Watching this powerful moment. Suddenly the game didn't matter, hockey didn't matter, HR and Corporate strategy didn't matter.  Nothing in the world mattered.

All that mattered was that a boy who is fighting cancer so valiantly, wasn't thinking about being sick.
He was hugging his hero, and nothing in the world was more important than that.

No Excuses. 

pics of Vinny on the ice and on the "Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center" courtesy of 


  1. Jay, if you need a more recent picture of the Stanley Cup with the current champions, I can hook you up.

    Good column.

  2. Thanks John. I'm hoping Stanley does the right thing this year and relocates from the Midwest to Florida.

    Thanks for checking out the post.

  3. I LOVE this post! Great story. It's always so important to get a little perspective. Awesome.

  4. Thanks you so much Laurie. I greatly appreciate your feedback!

  5. Great story! Love hearing about Vinny's compassion. That's why I respect him even more on the use because of the things he fords off the ice.

  6. Thanks Melissa. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Amazing man, incredible athlete, doing amazing things to make the world a better place. That's Vinny for you.

  8. Thanks for your comment Tracy. Vinny is absolutely terrific with the kids here at the hospital.

  9. I know this little boy and his family personally and they are extremely grateful for everthing Vinny has done for their son in helping to build a world class facility for their son to get the treatment he needs. Thank you for taking the time to invest in the life of this child. N. Spence

  10. Thank you so much for your note N. Spence...

    I'm so pleased that our facility, and Vinny's tremendous generosity are making a difference. Your note is very much appreciated.