High school hockey player plays through cancer

St Joseph Regional (Montvale, NJ)  -- Hockey Captain Eddie Klein has given new meaning to the term "tough", and though his grueling conditioning and practice have helped him succeed on the ice, nothing could have prepared him for the hand he was dealt this fall. The 17-year-old Rivervale, New Jersey native was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma on October 6th.

Throughout his treatment, Eddie's determination and love for hockey never wavered, so much so that he and his parents, Ed and Suzanne, decided to let him continue playing throughout his three months of cancer treatment.

Eddie remained on the ice, despite having a port implanted in his chest to administer chemotherapy.

The support system around Eddie became his driving force.  The St Joe's community rallied, organizing a "purple out" night in November to raise awareness for Eddie's form of cancer . They also had special jerseys made for the prestigious Bergen County Tournament. He met Giants quarterback Eli Manning and received a purple Rangers jersey from his favorite player Chris Kreider.

But the most memorable form of support came when Eddie's phone rang during his final round of treatment. It was from a Pennsylvania number foreign to Eddie. On the other end of that phone call was NHL legend Mario Lemieux, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1993, during the peak of his Hall of Fame career.

Lemieux offered advice, and the assurance that Eddie would live a long, normal life after he beat the disease.

Eddie's final round of chemo-therapy came on December 28th. This past weekend he took the ice for the undefeated Green Knights in the Bergen County Hockey tournament, cancer free.