Tuckers lend a helping hand

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

Darcy Tucker has seen what the ravages of cancer can do to an entire family.

His wife Shannon and brother-in-law Shayne Corson saw the disease take their father in 1993 in his mid-40s and now that Tucker and Shannon have three healthy children, she has helped a project raise money for families struggling with out-of-pocket costs related to their kids' treatment.

The couple hosted the annual Tucker Family Skate yesterday at the Air Canada Centre in conjunction with the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario. Thirty-six families whose lives have been touched by childhood cancer joined the Tuckers for lunch at The Hot Stove, a Leafs' practice and a spin around the ice.

"You look at these kids and they've been through hell and back and their families, too," Darcy Tucker said. "To get the opportunity to do something nice for them at this time of year ... hopefully puts some smiles on their faces today and at the same time, raises some awareness for what we're trying to do."

POGO is comprised of five speciality hospitals and is a leader in provincial childhood cancer research, as well as fundraising. Shannon and POGO volunteer Joan Schatz did much of the work on yesterday's event.

"I can't imagine people from (far-flung places in) Ontario having to come to Toronto, not knowing anything or anybody and then going through the ups and downs on a daily basis with their children's condition," Darcy Tucker said. "When Shannon's father was sick, her family would have loved to have the opportunity to have a place where he was, instead of having to drive to visit him from Barrie.

"It's not just the children going through the radiation and chemotherapy and such, but their brothers and sisters, while the parents devote so much time and effort to trying to stay positive and upbeat for everybody's sake.

POGO tries to reimburse families for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by OHIP, such as lodging and food. They have an annual gala on April 28 at the Liberty Grand.


Videos

Photos