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Top Stories of 2023 – No. 10: Mike Stelter, father of late Edmonton Oilers superfan Ben, diagnosed with cancer

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Photo credit:Twitter/Mike Stelter
Zach Laing
4 months ago
Now that we’re into the Christmas break, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the year that was. Over the next few days, we’ll be counting down the most-viewed stories at Oilersnation of 2023.
Coming in at No. 10, we have a story of resilience, with Mike Stelter, the father of late Oilers super fan Ben, getting diagnosed with cancer in July:
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.
A horrible story for an incredible family, the story of the Stelter’s has brought forth more support from the Edmonton community. The families GoFundMe was wildly successful, and the Stelter’s — who shared virtually every step of their son Ben’s story — has continued to do so.
In October, the family made an appearance on the Sportsnet broadcast of an Oilers game, updating Oil Country about Mike’s groundbreaking treatments. Most recently, Mike shared that in late November that his eight weeks of proton therapy treatment had concluded, and that “it feels so good to put this behind me.”
And as Mike noted when he joined the Jason Gregor Show on Sports 1440, the club had been undefeated since he returned home. The Oilers have now roared to a 10-3 record, outscoring their opponents 55-34.
There’s something special about the Stelter’s.

The full top 15


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 zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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