The Sue Deacon Memorial Cup April 27, 2015

Big, gratifying news: the second annual Sue Deacon Memorial Cup raised $110,000 this weekend in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada. The money will go for research into the disease that took Sue Deacon and continues to take too many other women’s lives.

Sue Deacon copySue played hockey, so it was a hockey tournament at her home arena, Bill Bolton Arena in Toronto’s west end. Four women’s teams, four men’s teams and two children’s teams were organized in three separate divisions to fundraise and play hockey.

Or maybe I should say to play hockey and to fundraise. Over all, the tournament honoured Sue, who beat the odds by living and playing for more than eleven years after her initial diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer. She played through four series of chemotherapy treatments, more than 40 hospitalizations, broken bones and repeated hair loss, loving life and loving the game.

The tournament’s slogan? Life is short. Play hockey.

I played with Sue for several years and knew her slightly, always valuing her warm smile and invariable good humour while admiring her deeply for the way she kept coming back on the ice. The tournament was organized by her family and a cadre of close friends who were with her every step of her journey. A lot of work—and we’re talking volunteer work—to pull together such a successful fundraising event. Kudos to them.

It was also a lot of fun.

Let’s put it out there: I played on a team that came fourth out of four in the women’s division. We were the Golden Girls, although as you can see in the photo above, the jerseys ordered as golden turned up in a shade that one of our players defined precisely as breast milk baby poo. I figure women’s dressing rooms probably cover a similar range of hockey topic as men’s but from a somewhat different angle.

After a moment’s silence for Sue, the tournament opened early Friday evening. The Golden Girls played our first game, adjourned to the bar, and started up again at 8 a.m. Saturday when the tournament resumed. Like all teams, we played three division games, skated hard and tried our best to win, but hey. Three losses? This season, the Leafs were lucky to lose only three times in a row. And I bet they never had as much fun as we did at the after party.

Congrats to tourney winners, Back’n’Back for women and the Selects for men. My biggest congratulations go once again to the organizers, while my greatest hopes lie in research for a cure. We can’t afford to lose more people like Sue.

For more information about her, please go to http://suedeaconmemorial.com/about-sue/