Monday, 16 May 2016

Howe Amazing a team close to elite goaltender's heart

Among the rookie class on Canada’s national women’s team at the 2016 IIHF Women’s Worlds, goaltender Erica Howe has experienced a season filled with milestones. Standing between the pipes for the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder, she also backstopped the club to its first postseason appearance since 2013. Of all the teams she has played with this season, the one that may carry the most emotion goes by the sobriquet, Howe Amazing.
The core of Team Howe Amazing starts with her mom Jane, along with siblings Kathleen and Kevin, among others. Part of a group of friends and family that shall be running in the Brain Tumor Walk on June 18, it is Erica’s opportunity to pay tribute to her late father, Peter. Diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforma in March 2005, it is one of 120 variations of brain tumors. Her father would fight valiantly for over three years, before succumbing in November 2008 at 58 years young.


Sadly, brain tumors have taken the lives of many notable names in sport. Most recently, basketball player Lauren Hill, who played one season with Mount St. Joseph University, lost her battle after 16 months of her diagnosis. Pro football running back Craig "Ironhead" Hayward suffered from chordoma while legendary baseball player and Hall of Famer Gary Carter passed away in 2012 after fighting glioblastoma multiforme.
Throughout a superlative hockey career already filled with many milestones, Peter Howe always holds a special place in Erica’s heart. Undoubtedly, he was Erica’s biggest fan and would have continued to be so as she progressed in the sport. Responsible for getting her to gruelling morning practices, he was a positive influence in those formative years, definitely a significant source of support. Considering that her father loved sport, he also proudly donated his time in soccer, a sport that saw all of the children in the Howe family; Kathleen (currently an educator), Kevin (a former competitor on So You Think You Can Dance Canada) and Erica participate.
From helping Canada capture its first-ever gold medal at the 2010 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, to Clarkson becoming the first non-WCHA team to win a Frozen Four national title, along with being credited for the first win in CWHL All-Star Game history, Howe is one of the game’s most promising stars. As a side note, she also appeared on a trading card, gaining cardboard immortality in Upper Deck’s 2011 World of Sport card set. Through it all, perhaps Erica’s greatest achievement is her ability to remain positive and refuse to wallow in self-pity.
The presence of an exceptional athlete such as Erica helps increase awareness of this outstanding initiative. Running in the hopes of raising funds for research and support, the goal is to ensure that the future is one where no family has to suffer the loss of a member gone far too soon.

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