The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: February 28, 2002
The Philadelphia Flyers organization is no stranger to the emotional and psychological impact of cancer. More than 25 years ago, player Barry Ashbee was diagnosed with leukemia and forced to retire. He died in 1977. Just this past year, the wife of Bill Barber, Flyers head coach, lost her battle with lung cancer. Three years ago, long time announcer Gene Hart, who earned the nickname "voice of the Flyers," died from complications after treatment for a tumor. In 2000, Gene's daughter Lauren, who sings the National Anthem before games, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Former Flyers coach Roger Neilson was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2000. Neilson's sister died from the disease in 1997.
The 2002 Flyers' Wives Fight for Lives Carnival will be held Sunday, March 3rd, at the First Union Center in Philadelphia. Since this tradition began on February 1, 1977, the carnival has raised $14 million for Delaware Valley charities, with a significant amount funding cancer research. In 2001, over $1.26 million dollars were raised, with the largest portion funding cancer research. This funding supports pioneering work on the treatment of leukemia and other forms of cancer. In November 2001, the Flyers' Wives organization funded an art gallery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Over one hundred other charities in the area have received significant funding from the organization.
The Flyers' and Philadelphia Phantoms' players, management, staff, alumni, and their families participate in this event annually. It features family-oriented activities as well as auctions of autographed jerseys and equipment, raffles for a Mercedes-Benz and a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and the chance to be photographed with a flyers team member. For fans in the Philadelphia area, the carnival is broadcast on UPN 57 from 4 to 6 PM, and rebroadcast on Comcast SportsNet from 8 to 10 PM. Donations can be made from 4 to 10 PM on March 3rd by calling 1-866-619-9777, or anytime by calling 215-389-9426. General admission tickets are still available, $15 for Adults and $10 for Children ages 2-12. Time of general admission is 3-6 p.m. Call 215.389-9426 to purchase tickets. Tickets will also be available on a limited basis at the door on Sunday, March 3, 2002.