Following a cancer diagnosis in his family, Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals is lending his star power to help others.
On the ice, Backstrom is one of the Capitals most prolific players, a consistent playmaker at the center position.
But he knows about fighting off the ice, too. His mother fought a hard battle with breast cancer.
“I was with her for a couple of treatments, and it’s not something you wish on anyone,” he said.
Catrin Backstrom has been cancer free for two years, but her son knows the fear that can grip a family when a loved one is diagnosed.
For the second year in a row, the Capitals’ alternate captain took a major role in the team’s Hockey Fights Cancer night. Backstrom signed and auctioned off lavender skate blades Saturday, with proceeds going to several local nonprofits.
“We talk about it, we fight it together and we’re raising money to help out as much as we can,” he said.
Before Saturday’s game, the team spent time with several local Make-A-Wish kids fighting their own battles.
“You just get a little smile on their faces,” Backstrom said. “It means so much.”
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He’s also proud to honor his mother and he wants to continue to help others with their own fights.
“Fight it together,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
The Capitals raised almost $70,000 thanks to the auction that included Backstrom's autographed blades.