Bobby Brown has lived through more in his brief 17 years than most people go through in a lifetime.
A first year defenceman with the KIJHL's Kelowna Chiefs, Brown is spearheading a Cancer fundraising night Saturday when the Chiefs host the Osoyoos Coyotes at Rutland Arena.
Brown has been affected by cancer almost since the day he was born.
Five members of his immediate family, his mother, father, grandmother, an aunt and uncle, all have been diagnosed with one form of cancer or another.
"It's definitely been tough. It's been overwhelming and I really don't know what it would be like without it," says Brown.
Brown's father Mike passed away July 16 from kidney cancer. He was given just six months to live when he was first diagnosed five years ago.
His mother Jeanette, who flew up from her home in Arizona for the festivities, was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in January.
"It's unfair, I've hated it," added Brown.
"I was pissed at the world. When my dad died July 16 my uncle got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer."
His uncle had surgery a week ago.
Brown says the hardest thing for him to do was to leave Arizona at the end of the summer to pursue his hockey dream.
"I didn't want to leave her because she is all alone now. My sister left too and so, yea, I did think about not coming up but I knew it was what both of my parents wanted me to do and it's what I wanted to do."
Jeanette Brown says it was hard to see her son leave, but it's a decision she doesn't regret.
"This a choice Mike and I made a long time ago. Our kids would go on and do whatever they wanted to do. They would never stop living because of cancer," says Jeanette Brown.
"It makes us live a little bit more because we want to get every bit out of life. We're very proud of Bobby, and I keep saying we because I feel Mike is still around pushing the buttons. As long as we can see our kids succeed, we're going to let them do it."
Jeanette will take part in Saturday's pre-game festivities. She'll conduct the ceremonial face-off.
Bobby Brown says he was approached by the team to be the 'poster boy' for this campaign and says he didn't hesitate to get involved.
"I really want to raise as much money as possible with this."
Jeanette says she couldn't be more proud.
"I'm proud of Bobby. He's done all of this on his own. He has done every bit of it with the guidance of his dad and he's put 110% into it. How much prouder can a mom be."
The Chiefs will wear special jersey's for the game which will be auctioned off during Saturday's game.
There will also be two Edmonton Oilers jersey's signed by Wayne Gretzky, who just happens to be Bobby Brown's uncle.
Brown has also pledged to donate $5 for every goal the Chiefs score from November 5 to the 27 to the Canadian Cancer Society and has challenged his teammates, fans and businesses to do the same.
The Chiefs have also pledged to donate $2 from every ticket to the cause if they are able to sell 750 tickets to the game.
Tickets for the game can be bought at the Chiefs office in Rutland from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and at the Rutland IGA Marketplace. They can also be bought an hour before the game on game night at the Rutland Arena.
Brown leads Chiefs cancer drive
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