A lot of people consider Chicago Wolves right wing Eriah Hayes to be tough, especially these days after getting smacked inadvertently by a stick during a preseason scrimmage and fracturing three bones in his face.
But ask the friendly 27-year-old from La Crescent, Minn., about toughness. He’ll tell you about his late mother-in-law, Barb Bennett.
“The toughest,” Hayes said this week. “They don’t come any tougher than she was.”
Bennett was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphona while pregnant in the early 1980s. She defeated it with the help of radiation treatments (the pregnancy ruled out chemotherapy).
In 2012, Bennett was struck by breast cancer that likely was triggered by the radiation treatments three decades before. She underwent a double mastectomy in order to get the best of cancer in this fight too. Not long afterward, though, cancer wound up spreading all over her body.
Almost exactly one year before Eriah married his high school sweetheart, Katie Bennett, in La Crescent, Barbara Ann Bennett passed away on July 23, 2014.
“Obviously you hope it’s not going to come down to that,” Hayes said. “You always try to keep the hope. She put up a good fight. She never thought it was going to get the best of her.”
The Chicago Wolves have joined forces with A Silver Lining Foundation to try to ensure breast cancer doesn’t get the best of anybody any more.
Sunday’s 3 p.m. game against Charlotte is Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Hayes and every other Wolves player will have a pink stick available during the game for a $175 donation, which supports the cost of a mammogram for those who cannot afford one.
Stick It To Breast Cancer autographed pucks, T-shirts, sweatshirts and tote bags also will be available at the Customer Service Booth behind Section 116. Proceeds go to A Silver Lining Foundation and Chicago Wolves Charities.
To learn more about ASLF’s urgent mission, click here.