The 11 Day Power Play is still months away, but one 13-year-old girl has already raised thousands of dollars to support those affected by cancer. Hannah Lockwood, of West Seneca, is a team captain of The Mighty Pucks, which has raised nearly $20,000 so far.
She’s one of the youngest team captains, but has one of the biggest hearts.
To Lockwood, hockey is more of a way of life, than a sport.
“I just have a lot of fun, and get to play with all my best friends,” she said.
She’s on two teams, and has been playing since she was five years old. While she’s built a life perfecting her skills on the ice, she’s also been hit with some tough news in her lifetime.
“My dad was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2011, and my grandpa and my cousin’s best friend passed of cancer,” she said.
Her dad, Ken Lockwood, battled thyroid cancer for about a year after his diagnosis. Doctors removed his thyroid in the process.
“It was horrifying because I didn’t know what it meant,” Ken said.
Now, every morning when the two wake up, Ken and Hannah focus on giving back, and raising money for the 11 Day Power Play. The event raises money for cancer research and wellness programs at Roswell Park, Camp Good Days and Make-A-Wish WNY.
“It really just hits home to me when I see kids that have been impacted by cancer, whether it’s through a family member, or whether it’s them personally,” Ken said. “It just really crushes me to see it.”
To date, Hannah’s team has raised about $17,000. she’s raised about $5,000 of that herself, all through social media. And there’s still four months to go before they hit the ice. There are more than 30 players on her team, and all of them have a personal connection to cancer.
“One of the girls, her father is battling cancer right now,” Ken said.
The event is in its third year. It runs 11 days straight at the start of July. The teams play in continuous, 4-hour shifts, which go all day and all night. It’s exhausting, but exciting to be apart of. Hannah says the atmosphere, and cause, make it all worth it.
“I think it’s really cool because I get to play hockey, and I love playing hockey, and I also get to raise money for a good cause,” she said.