'Everyone's there for me': Student hockey league rallies around cancer-stricken player

Student hockey player Michael Doucet hasn't been able to play hockey since his cancer diagnosis, but he's been at the rink almost every night to cheer his team on.

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Doucet's teammates reciprocated the support on Sunday night, when they raised over eight thousand dollars for him and his family.

"Last night, when they told me how much it was, I couldn't talk. I didn't know what to say," the Grade 12 student at Glace Bay High School in Nova Scotia told CTV Atlantic. Doucet was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in January.

"Purple Night," organized in part by the Glace Bay High School Panthers' head coach Ryan Boutilier, was held at the rink during game three of the high school hockey regional finals.

"It was hard. There were tears in the room. But at the same time, I think it made everybody stronger," Boutilier said.

"And I think it's really helping his family by being part of this team and having the community really rally around him."

Doucet has just finished his first round of chemotherapy. Even though he has 11 more rounds of treatment scheduled, his family says he's keeping his spirits up.

"He's as positive as anything. It's amazing how positive he is. And I'm kind of feeding off his positivity," says his father Dwayne Doucet.

Doucet can have an even more positive outlook knowing he's not only supported by his team, but also by the entire league.

At game two of the league final, the Riverview Redmen held a fundraising toonie toss. He has also received donations from Memorial High and Sydney Academy.

Doucet will be cheering his team Coxheath on Tuesday night, as they play for the league title.

"It's definitely a motivator having him around the team, or having his jersey behind the bench," says Boutilier.

Winning the title would also be a motivator for Doucet, teammate Jack Summerell says.

"We all know that he'd give anything to be playing with us. So for us to go out there and win even a regional title, or provincials, I know that would be huge for him."

Whatever the final score, Doucet is confident in his battle with cancer.

"Mainly knowing that it's curable. And the support has helped for positivity. Knowing everyone's there for me. I just know that I'll be able to fight through it," Doucet says.

With a report from CTV Atlantic



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