Less than one month after participating in a ceremonial puck drop with Eddie Olczyk at the Blackhawks’ “Hockey Fights Cancer” night, Lauren Graver of Mount Prospect, Illinois, has died. She was 10 years old.
Lauren, a fourth grader at Lion Park elementary school, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare muscle-based cancer, right before she entered the second grade.
Before the Hawks game against the Ducks on Nov. 27, Lauren said she was “super excited” to have the chance to drop the puck and have her friends and family in attendance.
The emotional puck drop left Olczyk — the top TV analyst for the Blackhawks who was diagnosed with colon cancer five months ago — visibly fighting back tears as he escorted Lauren near center ice so they could drop the puck together.
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) November 28, 2017
The Blackhawks tweeted Wednesday that they were “heartbroken” to hear of Lauren’s passing. They offered their condolences to the family as well.
We are heartbroken to hear of Lauren's passing. Her family and friends are in our thoughts during this difficult time. https://t.co/CHFrhWDSp1— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 27, 2017
A wake for Lauren will be held Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Raymond de Penafort Church. Her obituary in the Daily Herald asks people to “wear what you feel best in, but know that Lauren would love if her supporters wear the attire of her beloved Chicago Blackhawks, as she will be.”