OMAHA, Neb. – Skaters from all different backgrounds took to the ice recently to help promote awareness and raise money for Duchene muscular dystrophy research.
Two of those players included former ‘Cats hockey players supporting a former coach recently affected by the disease.
Rob Facca, who spent three years as an assistant coach at Northern Michigan under head coach Walt Kyle, recently received the news that his 3-year-old son, Louie, was diagnosed with Duchene disease.
“It really meant a lot to me,” Facca said. “To be able to come back to where I skated in college and have the support was overwhelming”
Duchene disease is a form of muscular dystrophy that affects one in every 3,500 children.
Erik Gustafsson (2007-2010) and Mark Olver (2007-2010) laced up their skates to support Facca. Gustafsson and Olver just completed their first year’s with the Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche, respectively.
The standing room only event took place at the Moylan Tranquility Ice Plex in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation sponsored the benefit hockey game and silent auction to help fight Duchene muscular dystrophy.
In all, 36 players, including nine current NHL players, 12 former University of Nebraska-Omaha players, and 15 members from the community skated for the cause.
Facca, currently an assistant coach with Western Michigan’s program, was amazed by the response from the professional players and former teammates.
“The NHL players are what really sold this event, but the response that we got from this community was great,” Facca said.
Facca estimates that some $30,000 was raised to help fund research for Duchene disease. The money raised went to benefit the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy to help support research of Duchene disease.
“I was really overwhelmed by the response from the community,” Facca said. “This really meant a lot to me and my family for the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation and the players to support us.”
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Sports Information Assistant