"I’m happy to report that Ellie is now two years’ cancer free."
As the round of applause and smiles filled through the Whitmoor Country Club pavilion, Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo couldn’t help but reflect on how much the Friends of Kids with Cancer organization means to his family.
"To have it hit our family was a tough thing to go through," said Pietrangelo. "But they stepped up and really helped us along the way. The least we can do is come out here and support it."
At the age of 6, Pietrangelo’s niece Ellie Kannel was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor, which is a rare kidney cancer.
"We found it early so thank goodness," added the first-year captain. "We were fortunate that it went away and she’s good now."
Her battle may have been full of highs and lows, but the one thing that remained consistent was the support they received from the organization.
"Anytime you need them they’re going to be there. They do a lot more than people think behind the scenes too. They’re always keeping in touch with people they meet along the way and you know they never really lose touch. They're always there to help."
With his wife Jayne serving as his golf partner, the event wasn't only about being present for his brother and sister-in-law, Jeff and Tara, but Pietrangelo wants to help create awareness for what families must endure when they have a child that’s affected by cancer.
"Truly the journey would not have been doable without an organization like this," said Jeff Kannel. "We are forever indebted to this organization and we could not be prouder to stand up here today and represent this organization."