The NHL officially dropped the puck on their Hockey Fights Cancer month last night and WHAT a way to start things off. The Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the New Jersey Devils last night and cancer survivor Brian Boyle put on a show for Devils fans watching at home. The 33 year old forward who officially announced last month that his chronic myeloid leukemia has officially gone into remission, scored a natural hat trick on Hockey Fights Cancer night.
Check it out:
How awesome is that? The perfect evening for a guy who has been through SO much in the past calendar year. For those unaware of Boyle's story, check out quotes from Boyle courtesy of NHL.com’s Mike Morreale:
The 33-year old New Jersey Devils center, diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia on Sept. 19, 2017, was originally told by doctors that it could take up to 18 months before the disease went into full remission; it took 12 months and 33 days.
"A test (BCR-ABL1) looks for the leukemia cells in your blood and when I was first diagnosed, it was at 75 percent," Boyle said Wednesday. "At the end of last season, it was at .08 percent, and in July I was .04 percent. The results showed all zeros on Monday. It's full molecular remission, and I feel really good. It was kind of the way the progression was happening the last few tests. When I told my wife, she was excited and got emotional.
"The game plan has been working well, and now I'm just going to continue with it. It was good news, but it doesn't change a whole lot for me and I'll continue taking the medicine."
Boyle needs to continue his medication once a month and the regular checkups with his doctors to make certain the cancer remains in remission. He attends Summit Medical in New Jersey, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where is is from and resides in the offseason.
Boyle also said his 3-year-old son, Declan, who has an arteriovenous malformation of his jaw, a rare condition that impacts blood flow and oxygen circulation, is doing well and is attending school four days a week.
"He's a normal kid again," Boyle said. "It's fantastic. I'm just glad I'm spending more energy out on the ice and in the locker room now. I'm fully here (with the Devils). This is such a tough league, so it just makes things easier for me."
Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia during training camp last season, but returned to action after about a month of treatment. He managed 13 goals and 23 points in 69 games with the Devils and represented the team at the 2018 NHL All Star Game in Tampa Bay. He was also awarded the 2018 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy at the 2018 NHL Awards.