EDINA (WCCO) — An accomplished Minnesota hockey player is fighting his latest battle without a stick and skates.
While running the Twin Cities Marathon, Chace Johnson remembers shooting pains through his stomach, and he even had to walk a bit before finishing. A couple days later, doctors detected a tumor, and told him he had colon cancer.
“Being a 25 years old, I definitely did not expect to have cancer. That’s for sure,” he said.
He had surgery following that diagnosis.
During his treatment, he received support from family and friends, and Edina’s High School hockey team, too.
“For a lot of these guys, this was their idol growing up, and they wanted really to help out and give to a good cause,” said Athletic Director John Soma. “All the hockey players are really good about supporting different groups, and this is really hitting close to home, because it’s part of their family.”
At the Hornets’ home, on the same ice that Chace used to play on when he was on the team, there’s going to be a Chuck-a-Puck fundraiser coming up this Saturday night. The money raised is going to help Chace and his family pay for substantial and mounting medical bills.
“You know, times are tough some times and having people on the way support you is very nice,” Johnson said. “They wanted to reach out to me, help me any way they could, and they thought to have a fundraiser, and it’s just very, very nice, and it’s great to be part of that.”
Johnson will also drop the puck that night.
He faces six months of chemotherapy, and is slowly returning to running and hockey.
“I’m trying to keep life as normal as I can,” he said.
His fundraiser will happen at the Braemar Arena in Edina. Each puck will cost $5, and the winner will receive four Club Level seats with a parking pass to the February 26th game between the Wild and the visiting San Jose Sharks.
Contributions on Chace’s behalf can also be made to the “Chase Johnson Benefit Trust” at the Wells Fargo branch, 5116 Vernon Avenue South, Edina, Minn., 55436. Please include the last four digits of the account (5586) with your gift.
In 2000, he shot several goals to help his team win the PeeWee A State Tournament, and now he’s fighting for another victory in his battle to beat cancer.