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Latest fundraising efforts for our research @SickKids

Published on June, 29th 2016
By Dr. Greg Wells

Memorial hockey tournament raises $30,000 for Toronto SickKids in honour of 11-year-old Alex Shapiro, ‘the fighting eagle’.

The Fighting Eagle Memorial hockey tournament raised an estimated $30,000 for The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) over the June 25 and 26 weekend.

Since its inception three years ago, the organizing committee estimates the event has raised $100,000 for SickKids Foundation. The two-day tournament, which brings together players of all skill levels, is held in memory of Alex Shapiro, a son, brother, friend, and loyal teammate of the Toronto Eagle’s Hockey Association. His love of hockey persevered even after he was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Sarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, in the summer of 2012.

As a member of the Toronto Eagles’ Minor Peewee AA team, Alex caught the attention of The Sports Network (TSN) when he was supposed to get chemotherapy, but instead, when there wasn’t a hospital bed available, he went home, grabbed his hockey gear and joined his teammates on the ice to score the first goal of the year. It was on that day that he earned the nicknamed ‘The Fighting Eagle’ (watch the clip here:

Alex continued to play hockey throughout his treatments any chance he could. In April 2013, his cancer returned and he passed away just two weeks after he played his last hockey game at the age of 11.

Established not only to remember and honour Alex and his love of hockey, friendship and competition, the Fighting Eagle Memorial Tournament also raise funds to support research by Dr. Greg Wells, an Associate Scientist in the Physiology & Experimental Medicine at SickKids. Wells is currently focusing on the benefits of physical activity for cancer patients during and following cancer treatments.

Funds raised will help Wells hire and train researchers and other professionals, cover research operating costs, such as MRI time, exercise testing, and to purchase new research equipment.

To find out more about the tournament and how you can donate, visit