Hockey Fights Cancer 2023

In partnership with RWJBarnabas Health, the New Jersey Devils celebrated the National Hockey League’s ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ initiative by honoring a pediatric cancer survivor treated at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Rutgers Cancer Institute.

At 13-years old, Charlie Shomers battled an aggressive form of brain cancer throughout the summer of 2023 but is now on the road to recovery. A lifelong Devils fan, Charlie’s gameday experience included a one-day contract; an official jersey and locker stall; a meet and greet with his favorite Devils player, Jack Hughes; a reading of the line-up, and a ride on the Zamboni.

 HFC 2023 contract  HFC 2023 meet and greet  HFC 2023 lineup

Also honored as the ‘Hero of the Game’ was Dr. Rahul Parikh, medical director of the Laurie Proton Therapy Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Rutgers Cancer Institute, who shared the spotlight with Charlie and got to ride the Zamboni. Dr. Parikh leads a team of specialists who provide sophisticated radiation therapy treatments to both adult and pediatric cancer patients across the RWJBarnabas Health system.

HFC 2023 Dr Parikh Charlie Shomers HFC 2023 Dr Parikh Zamboni HFC 2023 check presentation

“As RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute continue to transform cancer care together through advances in cancer prevention, research and treatment, we are appreciative of the ongoing support of the NHL and our partner, the New Jersey Devils,” said Dr. Steven Libutti (above, far right), Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health. “Hockey Fights Cancer Night truly helps to lift the spirits of cancer patients and their families by paying tribute to their strength and perseverance and reinforces the need to support cancer research and care.” Dr. Libutti was on hand for the festivities, including a check presentation from October Saves and the New Jersey Youth Hockey Community, who donated $10,000 to the Cancer Transportation Program at Community Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.                                         

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RWJBarnabas Health is the official healthcare partner of the New Jersey Devils. Photos courtesy of the New Jersey Devils and others.