The University of Delaware Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey team and UD hockey program has a new member Christian.
Christian is from Delaware, who has just recently been paired with the Division 1 team, as well as the Women’s Division 2 and the Men’s Division 3 teams, as their B+ Hero. He enjoys plays, theater and acting. Now he recently is getting into hockey, thanks to his dad and the team! Back in November of 2015, Christian was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a cancer of the bones, usually begins around the legs, bones of the pelvis and arms. It is most common in children and teenagers. In Christian’s case, doctors found a mass around the muscle in his hip. Doctors also found small nodules in his lungs, meaning that the cancer has metastasized. Christian started treatment in the beginning of December and has made some positive progress.
Christian first met the team at their morning practice on February 27th. Christian came out on the ice for a team picture, received his official UD Hockey #11 jersey, and got to hang out with the team after. Senior Nick Ustaski said, “Christian did refuse to come into the locker room after because he said it smelled so bad!” After practice, Christian came back to the Rust to watch the women’s ice hockey game with his family and Nick. The girls let him come on the bench and he then joined them in the locker room post-game to meet all the girls, Christian said the women’s locker room “smelled much better than the boys” . On March 13th, the team joined Christian, the B+ Foundation, and the rest of the University of Delaware community to participate in UDance, a 12-hour dance marathon held at the Big Bob UD Basketball Arena to raise money for pediatric cancer. The guys spent time with Christian, and even joined him onstage to perform “Fight Song” during the B+ Hero Talent Show! This year, UDance raised $1.7 million, and became the fifth largest student dance marathon in the nation!
The team is so excited to keep welcomed getting to know Christian and can’t wait to spend more time with him! For a lot of the team, this year was their first UDance experience. “I think Christian took the importance of UDance to a new level for us. He was so excited and full of energy, and that kind of rubbed off on us. Getting to watch him have fun and participating in the talent show with him as our lead was an experience none of us are going to forget,” Andrew Corapi said. Shane Mullin added, “This year was my first year attending UDance. Our hero Christian was a great inspiration to us all, and we were honored to be there with him throughout the season and during UDance. It was an unbelievable experience to see the school come together on Sunday as one, and raise a record setting amount of money to support the B+ Foundation.” Nick Ustaski also the team rep for UDANCE said, “As a senior, I was very happy to get involved with UDANCE in my last year. Getting to hang out with Christian and see him lead us in a dance on stage in front of hundreds of people is something I will never forget. I am proud our team got involved and look forward to more events to hang out with Christian this spring.”
To follow Christian’s story, here is a website that will provide updates as he goes through this battle!
Written By: Analisa Vizzoni