Mike Stelter, father of late Edmonton Oilers superfan Ben, diagnosed with cancer
Photo credit:Twitter/Mike Stelter
By Zach Laing2 months ago
It’s been a little under a year since the world lost Edmonton Oilers superfan Ben Stelter after a noble battle with cancer, but now, his family is facing another fight against the horrific disease.
On Thursday afternoon, Ben’s father, Mike, shared on social media he had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has seen a tumour growing on his spine.
A GoFundMe has been started to support the Stelter family with organizer Danielle Ribich writing that the tumour was found after months of back pain. An MRI revealed everyone’s worst nightmare.
“A biopsy was done and after weeks of testing they still don’t know the exact type of tumor it is but said it’s rare and requires Proton Therapy for treatment,” Ribich wrote on the GoFundMe page, which has a donation goal of $40,000. “Canada is the only major Country in the world that doesn’t have this treatment available.”
Ribich went on to say that Mike and his wife, Lea, will travel to Pennsylvania for a consultation and testing, which will be followed by seven weeks of treatment.
“So far, they’ve been told that only Mike’s flight to Pennsylvania and the treatment itself will be covered by Alberta Health,” Ribich wrote. “There still may be added expenses for testing, scans, and medication while in the United States.”
The Stelter family entered the spotlight when their son, Ben, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, two months before his fifth birthday. Ben underwent multiple surgeries, as well as four rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation sessions.
Ben, however, became a rallying point for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2021-22 season. During a March 24th game, Ben skated onto the ice and stood alongside Conn McDavid and other Oilers players for the anthems.
The Stelter family travelled to Oilers playoff games in California when the team faced the LA Kings, and received recognition from that team, as well as the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche.
After Ben’s passing, the family launched the Ben Stelter Foundation to raise funds to fight cancer, and support families through the process. Over $1-million has been raised since, and the lastest bump of funds came from an the NHL Awards Show, where Oilers captain Connor McDavid and TNT analyst Paul Bissonnette each donated $10,000.
The GoFundMe for the Stelter family has seen thousands of dollars already donated Thursday afternoon. More information on it can be seen here.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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