The Icemen may be fourth in their conference, but their record doesn't matter for one Gibson county family. It's the effort they're putting in to help a little girl with cancer.
Hockey is about big hits, big goals and big fights. But the fights on the ice are nothing compared to the one five year old Hailee Cunningham is in. While hockey fights last mere seconds, Hailee's has lasted for more than a year. It started Thanksgiving week, 2012.
"She was having really bad pain in her legs," says her mother, Rachel. "We took her to Deaconness and they told us she had a tumor, that she was going to riley and to expect surgery in less than 24 hours. The neurosurgeon was waiting for us outside and told us they were wrong, it was inoperable."
Thirty weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of proton beam therapy later, doctors believed Hailee's tumor was dead. But three months later in a follow-up MRI, the Cunninghams got devastating news once again.
"They told us the tumor was back," remembers Rachel. "And it had tripled in size."
Rachel was forced to quit her job to care for her daughter. With savings dwindling to nothing, Jeremy Bigham, a family friend, suggested they reach out to the Icemen.
"I called the Icemen and asked them if they'd like to do a fundraiser," says Bigham. "They said they'd love to do it. Each ticket is 12 dollars, and for each one sold the family gets two dollars."
"It's hard to ask people for help. Even when you know you need it," says Rachel. "We are extremely grateful."
To purchase tickets for the game contact Jeremy Bigham at (812) 677-7024. You can also donate to Hailee's fund at Fifth Third Bank.