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Red Wings make a young lady’s difficult health decision a more bearable one via VIP treatment

This story popped up on Thursday's newscasts, and it's a little difficult to fathom, but it's worth your time (via RedWingsFeed), as the Red Wings explain:

On Wednesday May 7th, 2014, Kelly Rothe, made it know about her surgery she was about to undertake, the following day the Detroit Red Wings organization brought Kelly and her family down to The Joe for a special private dinner. There she was surprised by local Detroit band, Kaleido, who gave her a private acoustic set. Then they took her to the Red Wings locker room where her favorite player was there waiting to surprise her.

Update: here's more from DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter:

Howard said he was excited about the opportunity to be a part of Rothe’s surprise, and that her bravery is inspirational, not only for people dealing with cancer, but for everyone who hears her story.

“It’s uplifting, I think, for both of us. She’s such a courageous young girl. She’s really brave in what she’s doing. For me, it’s nice to be able to return the favor because I know she’s cheered a lot for me,” Howard said. “To be 20 years old and to be going through this, it’s got to be nerve wracking, but at the same time, she’s shown a lot of courage.”

Rothe found out about the gene mutation three days after her 18th birthday and since then, she’s done everything she can to research the pros and cons of getting a bilateral mastectomy – the removal of both breasts – at such a young age.

After learning that the procedure reduces the risk of cancer by about 90 percent, and that the surgery will be fully insured, the Eastern Michigan University junior said it was an easy decision.

“It’s like dismantling a bomb,” Rothe said. “You have a bomb strapped to your chest and they’re going to dismantle it. How much of a relief is that?”

Her father, Robert, and her 17-year-old twin siblings, Evan and Samantha, have been inspired by her courage and supportive of her decision every step of the way.

“I told her that she’s my idol. This is beyond belief and she’s never wavered,” Rothe’s father said. “Anybody that knows Kelly knows how strong she feels about wanting to live and how strong she feels about educating people. I support her 100 percent to do what she’s doing while she’s healthy instead of racing the clock.”

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Paul's avatar

I’ve been following this story since I saw it on TV, hope it all works at well for her.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/09/14 at 11:40 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

The video made me cry.  Cancer has touched all of us in some form.  I’ve been watching my sister battle brain cancer for four years now.  She’s out lived every best possible expectation and still fighting.  It’s inspirational to hear someone is taking a proactive step against cancer.  It gives others the belief that cancer is something we can eventually defeat!  Good luck Kelly and thank you for giving us hope.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 05/09/14 at 11:51 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Very cool.  Godspeed to you, Kelly.

And kick cancer’s ass.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/09/14 at 11:58 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar


Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 05/09/14 at 11:51 AM ET

My dad is in year 4 of a fight with the big C, his type of cancer has a 30% survival rate at the end of 5 years. He’s also beat prostate cancer and had some melanoma over the years….
This #$%^&*@ disease touches all of us in way way or another eventually. Seeing what a person has to endure to fight the good fight is gut wrenching to say the least.
EFF cancer.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/09/14 at 12:51 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Lost my mom to cancer three months ago, stories like this help

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 05/09/14 at 12:59 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Loving the RedWings is much more than just about the team. They touch our lives in so many good ways.

Posted by joedaiceman on 05/09/14 at 01:03 PM ET


What a beautiful young woman who I hope has a long life ahead of her.  Godspeed!

Posted by bababooey on 05/09/14 at 01:27 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

A very beautiful, smart, articulate and most definitely brave young lady. All the best to her.
Great job to the Wings and Howard as well. Very Kool.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 05/09/14 at 02:29 PM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Seeing what a person has to endure to fight the good fight is gut wrenching to say the least.
EFF cancer.

Posted by MOWingsfan19

Amen to that!

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 05/09/14 at 03:44 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

my lifetime risk of breast cancer is 87%.

It looks to me like the calculation was double risk for one immediate family member with breast cancer (~24%) plus BRCA1 mutation is ~84% (plus other unknown minor risks to get to 87%?). In most cases of people having prophylactic mastectomy that I’ve heard of, the person had a far lower risk of breast cancer than this woman’s, and if I’m understanding what I’m reading at cancer.gov correctly, they wouldn’t even recommend it for her because her risk is below 90%. For most people who have not had cancer themselves, a healthy lifestyle, non-invasive prophylaxis (e.g., tamoxifen), and watchful waiting is completely sufficient.

I keep thinking that, with our increased understanding and more and better treatment options, there has never been a better time to be diagnosed with cancer. And this is only (“only”) about managing risk.

Posted by bleep bloop on 05/09/14 at 05:12 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Best of luck to this young lady,

And good for Howard to help her spirits!!!

Posted by gowings from MTL on 05/09/14 at 06:46 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

thanks for sharing

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/10/14 at 11:58 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

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