As seen on Boston.com, written by Bentley Sports Information writer, Kyle Mack
On Wednesday afternoon after practice, the Bentley hockey team took time from their preparations for the Rochester Institute of Technology this weekend to welcome in a new honorary member of the team: Michael Eden, a 15 year old cancer survivor from Framingham.
Michael was matched with the hockey team through Team IMPACT, a New England based non-profit serving kids facing life-threatening illnesses. The goal of Team IMPACT is to match kids with a college team in a sport they are interested in, and let them experience what it is like to be a member of that team.
In September of 2009, Michael was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer that causes tumors to develop in muscles connected to bones. After nearly a year of receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments, scans showed the cancer was in remission. However, in April of last year, doctors discovered two new tumors.
Yet Michael started high school in the fall, joined the cross country team, was elected class treasurer and made high honors last semester. With a desire to learn how to skate as well, Michael jumped at the chance to join the hockey team and discover what it is like being a Bentley Falcon.
Head coach Ryan Soderquist was thrilled with his new addition.
""Our entire program is excited to have Michael and his family be part of our family. Michael is an inspirational young man who has shown tremendous courage and determination through his battle with cancer. We always look out for each other on and off the ice, and any way we can be there for Michael and his family throughout his fight, we will."
Michael was first brought into the locker room at Ryan Skating Arena, in Watertown where he was introduced to each player. To top it off, he was given a custom-made, Bentley "EDEN 8" home uniform.
Finally, Michael took to the ice, stick in hand, and skated around the rink with the team behind him.
Said co-captain Trent Bonnett, "hearing Michael's story was extremely moving. Michael and his family have been through so much in his battle with cancer and he has a tremendous amount of strength, courage, and character. His story is inspiring for all of us.
"Being faced with so much adversity at his age and taking cancer on in the way he does is something that our whole team is uplifted by. It means a lot for us to be in his corner."