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Havoc Fans Help in Fight Against Childhood Cancer

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From: The Huntsville Havoc > News


Havoc Fans Help in Fight Against Childhood Cancer

March 1, 2018
2:00 PM CST

(Berlin Detulleo, left, and Ansley Smith met in kindergarten and became fast friends.  Berlin is the daughter of Havoc Head Coach Glenn Detulleo.)

While this story is about a life ending, it's also about beginnings. How one child inspired thousands of hockey fans to contribute what they can to eliminate childhood cancer.


Ansley Smith was a typical rambunctious six-year-old. She loved to dance. She fought with her older sister. She liked to visit with her friends in Madison, Alabama, and make people laugh.

A doctor's visit to look at her tonsils changed all that.

"I describe that day as 'the awakening'," says Ansley's aunt Carolanne Milijavac. "I got a phone call from my mother saying Ansley was being rushed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. That is the day when all the things that don't matter suddenly got very small and I realized what was most important."

Doctors had found a rare form of cancer in Ansley's nasal cavity. Treatment would involve intensive chemo and radiation therapy and monitoring that she could not receive in North Alabama.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis is home to world-class scientists, doctors and nurses who dedicate their lives to finding cures and treating children.

Ansley's parents stayed in Memphis with their little girl as doctors and nurses helped her fight for over a year. While the initial tumors were shrinking, cancer cells had moved into Ansley's spinal fluid and to her brain. As difficult a decision as it was to make, she came home to spend what time she had left with friends and family.

Ansley Smith passed away four months after her 7th birthday.

That is how her life ended, but now comes her legacy and a new beginning: One of Ansley's close friends was Berlin Detulleo, daughter of Jen and Glenn – head coach of the Huntsville Havoc hockey team.

"I couldn't help but think what it must be like to be the parent of a child with cancer," said Jen. "It's not something you think about until someone close to you is affected. Ansley's fight really opened our eyes to the need for more awareness, research and funding for childhood cancer." ...

While Ansley's fight is over, she is still helping others.

"Her story has inspired so many people who are suffering, sick, or even grieving – encouraging them to press on," said Carolanne. "She left behind a legacy of faith, love and strength." ...


St. Jude Night with the Havoc is Saturday, March 3, at the Von Braun Center. Proceeds from the jersey auction and silent auctions in the lobby go to the St. Jude Hospital System. Tickets are on sale now through ticketmaster.com, the Havoc front office and the VBC box office.


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From: The Huntsville (AL) City Blog > Quality Of Life


Giving back: Generosity of Havoc and its fans give Huntsville a big win

City Blog is taking a look at the good work performed by corporate citizens. Today: The Huntsville Havoc, the professional hockey organization led by owner Keith Jeffries and president Ashley Balch. Through its fans, the Havoc has funneled more than $1 million toward charitable causes in the community.

A bunch of tough guys, some of whom would be exchanging punches with other tough guys 30 hours later, some no longer blessed with their original-issue teeth, were in a rather serene atmosphere.

Wielding paint brushes instead of hockey sticks, these players were being instructed in the art of water color, with deep blues and perky yellows to create masterpieces that mimicked a skyscape on display.

They were joined by a bunch of tough kids – local youngsters who are undergoing treatment through St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. ...

View the full article


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