Rogers hockey community hosts fundraiser for young players with rare cancer

A north metro youth hockey community rallied together to raise money for cancer research on Saturday after three families were affected by a rare form of the disease. 

The Rogers Youth Hockey Association was hit hard by Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer affecting the bone or soft tissue, after two players and a parent were diagnosed with different variations of the disease within just a few years.  

"They still have a lot of life to live, and they still have a lot of things they want to do," fundraiser organizer Kari Como said. "They [just] got pulled off the ice and weren’t able to play with their friends anymore."

Player Riley Kane was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma and endured 42 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. After recently completing his treatment, Riley received a clean scan on Christmas Eve. But throughout his journey, even while tired and fighting for his life, a part of Riley’s mind was always at the rink.

"I was sad that I couldn’t play as much," Riley told FOX 9. "[Cancer] made me feel sick."

Riley was not alone in his fight against Sarcoma. On the ice, another player has recently fought the disease. And in the stands, Como’s 40-year-old husband Josh died from Epithelioid Sarcoma in 2020.

To help battle the disease, Como organized a cancer fundraiser and silent auction next to the rink on Saturday in hopes of making a difference.

"I know as of last night, just in our team fundraising competition, we had $7400," she said.

The money raised will go to Rein in Sarcoma, a Minnesota foundation supporting sarcoma patients worldwide. The foundation also provides grants for important research and hosts events to increase awareness.

"[So] then other kids won’t have to go through what I had to go through," added Riley.

If you would like to donate to the cause, text "RogersSlapsSarcoma" to 44321. To learn about the Jan. 16 fundraiser, click here.