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Andrew Shaw, the scrappy young winger who Blackhawks fans love to love and opponents love to hate, became the source of a unique fundraising experience.

It’s hard to forget Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Boston last June, when Shaw took a puck to the face and dropped to the ice. YouTube responded to TubePress with an HTTP 410 - No longer available

It didn’t take long for his face to be sewn back up so he could get back in the action, cheek slightly puffier than before, and help the team battle their way to victory. The 16-17 stitches were there for him as he raised the cup, as he paraded through the city to millions of fans clad in red, and as he avoided profanities during his victory rally speech (this time.) It’s when they wouldn’t be there that became rather newsworthy.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research called Shaw.

“They asked me not to throw them out when I got them taken out,” Shaw told Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “They had an idea.”
While not exactly appetizing, their idea was to auction off those stitches, which had witnessed Blackhawk glory—and probably more that summer—for charity. Shaw could select the beneficiary of the funds, which was an easy choice for him: breast cancer research. His mother, Darlene, was diagnosed last fall.

“It was tough, it was hard on her,” Shaw said. “We tried to go home as much as we could to see her, but she wanted us to focus on what we were doing.”

Darlene was able to travel in the spring and lived with Shaw in Chicago every weekend for playoffs.

“It was great for her to experience it and be there for me,” he said.

Shaw was inspired by his mother’s battle and happy to auction off the stitches behind his war wounds for breast cancer research. They took in $6,500 after an eBay auction in August, won by Harry Caray’s Restaurant CEO Grant DePorter. They’ll be displayed with other famous Chicago sports memorabilia at the Harry Caray’s on Chicago’s Navy Pier. The museum hosts Patrick Kane’s mouth guard from the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Paul Konerko’s Grand Slam bat from the 2005 World Series and less savory items like the infamous Bartman ball and Sammy Sosa’s corked bat. DePorter’s $6,500 bid was tripled by the V Foundation.

But the best news of all is that Shaw’s mother seems to be doing well. He told Comcast Sportsnet she’s been healthy and back to work. The V Foundation, whose motto is “Don’t Give Up… Don’t Ever Give Up!”, was started by ESPN 20 years ago in honor of NC State Basketball Coach Jim Valvano. It has raised more than $100 million and awarded cancer research grants throughout the country.

For more information on the V Foundation, visit http://www.jimmyv.org/.

Carly Mullady grew up needing to know more about icing than its deliciousness on cupcakes. She's the lone daughter of four children, with a father who was among the last cut from the Midwest tryouts for the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team. And she knows very little matches the thrill that happens from puck-drop to handshakes. A rink didn’t return to her hometown until she was gone, but she’s been able to see two younger brothers on the ice. She's their feistiest fan. Her other hockey loyalty lies with the Blackhawks--whether it's meant seeing games for $8 with student IDs when the Madhouse didn’t have much of a temper at all, or dancing to Chelsea Dagger at standing room only--there’s something magical about a roaring anthem, the Indianhead sweater, and the Original Six. A former journalist and current editor, she carries a penchant for excitement (and maybe even fighting) with a resume that includes working for Chicago-area newspapers, and television, including The Jerry Springer Show, as well as NBCUniversal in New York. After East Coast living and a return to the Chicago area, the new Mrs. is giving Graceland a go with her Southern Gent, who now shares her adoration of the game, and their rescue dog, Doc Holliday. Other interests include Cubs, Bears, Illini, Crimson Tide, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, baking a mean pineapple upside-down cake, Kate Spade accessories, and a properly coordinated cardigan for every ensemble.

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