EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey teenager turns a painful loss into a mission of hope.
His goal: he’s using his passion for hockey to help fight cancer.
Andrew Low has been playing ice hockey since he was 6 years old. He’s now 16, a sophomore in high school.
“It’s my life. It’s my passion,” he told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.
He and his hockey friends are now using their passion on the ice to help save lives. It started after Andrew’s family was hit hard by cancer.
“I unfortunately lost both my grandparents to cancer within six months, and on Christmas morning, I also lost my dog under the Christmas tree to cancer as well,” he said.
Last year, he started the group “Kids Ice Cancer” to raise money for children fighting cancer. He recruited 40 fellow players who are all raising money to benefit the Valerie Fund, a nonprofit that helps children with cancer and blood disorders.
“We treat more than 6,000 children each year at seven outpatient treatment centers,” said Bunny Flanders, with the Valerie Fund.
The players are all getting ready for a fundraising hockey game at American Dream in East Rutherford on March 27.
Andrew’s first fundraising goal was $35,000. They blew past that and raised it to $65,000. After more generous donations, it went to $100,000, and now their goal is $125,000.
The players have been reaching out to family, friends and companies to raise as much as they can, and have been blown away at the response.
“It’s kind of the same thing as this game. You can start really small and you can just, like, throw a shot in the dark and it can get really big,” said Will Sgro with Kids Ice Cancer.
Andrew says he plans to keep finding ways to honor those he lost to cancer.
“I love my grandpa, and my grandma was the best cook around. I loved spending every minute with her. She was awesome. And the little dog, she was the best. I miss them,” Andrew said.
He’ll keep using his passion to help save others.
For more information about the event and how to donate, visit kidsicecancer.com.