1010 WINS– During Thursday’s (10/5) home opener at the Honda Center, the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks honored childhood cancer survivor Katie Hawley as the team’s “21st player” while taking the ice with her two favorite players, wingers Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell.

17-year-old Katie received her first diagnosis at the age of nine and has had more than a dozen surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, on top of numerous radiation treatments and blood transfusions. Katie, who is now battling cancer for the third time in her life, received a massive round of applause from the opening night fans in attendance.

Prior to the event, Katie was interviewed by the NHL and spoke about the incredible inspiration she found in other children who were in similar situations. “When I got it the third time, I told my parents I was done. I didn’t want to fight anymore,” Katie said before finding out she was going to be made part of the team.

The Ducks’ Rickard Rakell then sent Katie a special video message and visited The Jessie Rees Foundation where Katie volunteers her time with other families and childhood cancer patients, bringing awareness to their impactful stories, offering resources and spreading the message of ‘never ever giving up.’

Katie was invited to skate with the team during Tuesday’s practice and took the ice with her team during Thursday’s opening game against the Arizona Coyotes, who the Ducks beat 5-4, certainly with thoughts of Katie in their minds.

Watch an interview with Katie on NHL.com.

-Joe Cingrana