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About Us

 

Kris Maguire, Candice Arnold, Darryl Arnold

Our History

Hockey Fights MS is a unique organization whose mission is to raise money for research into the cause, cure and treatment of multiple sclerosis and to help improve the lives of those living with multiple sclerosis by supporting local rehabilitation centers.  

Founded in 2005 by Candice Arnold, Hockey Fights MS began as a single event in eastern Pennsylvania.  In just a few short years we have grown to six separate tournaments in five states - Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland, Massachusetts, and most recently, New York.  We have watched the total number of participating teams in one tournament season increase from seven to 160.  Players have traveled from 41 states and Canada to participate in the three-day tournaments and to support our cause.

The Hockey Fights MS tournaments are currently open to adult men and women players of all ages and abilities.  The number of participants, volunteers and spectators continues to increase each year, reflecting the growing support from local communities.

 

How We Help

To date, our organization has raised just over $195,000 for MS research and rehabilitation centers such as:  The MS Center at The University of Vermont Medical Center located in Burlington, VT; Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in Allentown, PA; The DENT Neurologic Institute located in Buffalo, NY; and Johns Hopkins Project RESTORE, located in Baltimore, MD – one of the leading MS research facilities in the country.  Past recipients have included the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s New England and Greater Delaware Valley Chapters as well as Partner's Pediatric MS Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.

 

When Life Hands You Lemons…

The inspiration to form this organization came as a direct response to my own diagnosis.  I experienced my first symptoms of MS in August 2005.  After undergoing several diagnostic tests such as blood work, MRI’s and a spinal tap, I was informed by my neurologist that I had multiple sclerosis.  To say that I was shocked is an understatement.  I didn’t know anything about multiple sclerosis so I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant at first. I spent days worrying about what life would be like from that moment on.  I was 25 years old and had my whole life ahead of me.   I wondered if I would be able to continue playing sports and participate in the other activities I enjoyed. 

Hockey has always been my passion.  I first started playing when I was ten years old.  I played for my high school boy’s team before moving on to play competitively on a girl’s travel team and in a local men’s league.  By the time I had gone off to college, I was competing at the NCAA Division III level and loving every minute of it.  Aside from playing, I was also a private skating instructor and coach.  As I’m sure many of my readers can relate, not much existed outside of hockey.  Just the thought of not being able to do what I loved most was terrifying.  

Rather than accepting defeat, I started brainstorming ways to make the best of the situation.  Like the saying goes, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”  I decided the only thing I could do was help find a cure and so, within one week of being diagnosed, I started planning the first Hockey Fights MS tournament in Pennsylvania.  

It is my personal mission to use the skills I have to help as many people as possible and in as many ways as possible, whether it be through research, rehabilitation, or simply raising awareness.  Over the past 10 years, Hockey Fights MS has expanded into hosting 6 tournaments in 5 states - none of which would have been possible if it weren't for the unwaivering support of my family, friends and volunteers.