Words that Eric Naughton and countless others have to utter each and every year to themselves, their loved ones, themselves again and again questioning the realness of it.
It took a cancer diagnosis (Hodgkins) to change Eric’s life for the better. And forever changed his attitude. “My message is to make people realize that TODAY is the day to do the things you want out of life.
Eric decided he wanted learn to play hockey (who wouldn’t?). And he’s making a movie about it. Now here’s a guy who is 40 years old, never skated and wants to learn to play hockey, WHILE in remission from cancer.
Ballsy. But gives me goose bumps every time I think about it. See, I’m biased, but also 100 percent correct when I say hockey is the best sport in the world and cancer is the worst disease in the world. About 2 years later, Eric is cancer free, and is a hockey player.
He’s also making a movie about his story. There are several NHL players with cancer who have beaten it. The most famous is Mario Lemieux. I discovered Eric through a wonderful article written by massive Dangeroushockey fan, and supporter Puck Daddy (see article) I was immediately drawn to Eric’s story as I’m a hockey player, filmmaker, same age etc.
Finally, this past Saturday, a brief 5 minute emotional meeting that I’ll never forget. Eric was in Pittsburgh for the fantasy camp (see trailer). After the first period, Eric and I met. In 5 minutes we had a conversation with more substance than I have with people in 5 years.
Eric made it clear that he wants people to know they can do anything they want, “there’s no reason you can’t and no time like now.” I told him that it inspires me every day and how I’ve changed my life partially because of him. Eric became emotional (sorry Eric). I’m sure I would have as well if my kids weren’t goofing around while I was talking to him.
Eric, is a hero. I wish I could be surrounded by him and other survivors every day. We all know life is fleeting, and most of us take it for granted. Well, you shouldn’t.
Do something wonderful today,
Peace, love and happiness,
Love, your hockey idiot.
Great article. I was one of Eric’s teammates this weekend on the Whalers at Fantasy Camp. Thanks for continuing to get his story out there. He really is an amazing guy who has a great lesson to teach people whether they have cancer or not.
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As a cancer survivor I totally get what Eric is saying – there is never a better time than now to go out and fulfill a dream. It doesnt matter how old you are, Life is way to short no matter how long you live.
It took a cancer diagnosis to make me see that. I wish more people would realize this without the heartbreak of having to tell anyone “I have cancer”.
Thank you for writing about this “hockey idiot”. I dont agree with your self tittled moniker but whatever floats your boat!!! LOL
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great read!! Very inspirational. thanks for sending, Rocque