‘Pink in the Rink,’ breast cancer fight personal for Sound Tigers

BRIDGEPORT — Cancer finds a way to affect just about everyone’s life one way or another, and for a few Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Saturday’s “Pink in the Rink” night hits close to home.

Winger Michael Dal Colle said he was kept in the dark a bit when his mother, Wendy, fought breast cancer.

“She was diagnosed when I was 10, so it’s coming up on 12 years,” Dal Colle said Tuesday. “It was a big part of my childhood, for her to overcome that.

“I didn’t really know the extent of it. My sister was a little older. She had a better idea. I didn’t know how severe it was. In reality, that was probably a good thing.”

Wendy Dal Colle beat it, though, and on Pink Rink nights when her son played junior hockey in Ontario, she’d drop the ceremonial faceoff. He scored a goal in regulation and tacked on the shootout winner in last year’s Pink in the Rink game in Bridgeport with pink tape on his stick blade.

A portion of the night’s proceeds from Saturday’s game against Providence at Webster Bank Arena benefit the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative. Tickets bought through a fevo.com link (available off soundtigers.com) go directly to CT BHI.

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Thankful survivor takes active role in breast cancer fight

NEW BRITAIN - 2018 is the 15th year of the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.

With the organization’s flagship Race in the Park about three months away, CTBHI is hoping to raise money and spread its message.

Board member Kaitlyn Clements recently told her breast cancer story - from diagnosis to recovery - and how CTBHI was there to help along the way.

Clements was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer on Sept. 24, 1999, at the age of 24. Clements said she remembers that day clearly and, at first, couldn’t believe the news.

“Twenty-four-year-olds don’t get diagnosed with breast cancer,” Clements remembered thinking. “I just remember screaming at him, ‘Am I going to die?’ ”

“It was a very traumatic day that I’ll never forget,” Clements said.

Being told may have been painful, but Clements said her doctor saved her life.

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