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Two NCAA Division I college hockey players have announced they are battling the same form of rare bone cancer.

Drew Brown, a junior forward for Providence College, announced his illness six days ago. He was diagnosed was Ewing’s sarcoma when he received an MRI for a lower body injury sustained during the hockey season.

Today, Justin Woods, a defenseman who just finished his freshman year at Alaska, announced his battle with the same disease. Both players will miss the 2014-2015 hockey season while they receive treatment.

Both have said their cancer is in early stages, and they will undergo chemotherapy – Brown in his home state of Michigan, and Woods in Seattle, Washington.

“My family and my teammates have been great,” Brown said in a statement. “I have had so much support from them and that’s made a tough situation a lot easier.”

Brown played in 16 games in the 2013-2014 season, notching two goals and four assists.  He was forced to sit out all three of Providence’s playoff games against UMass Lowell after he sustained that lower body injury.

Woods registered one goal and three assists in 33 games with the Nanooks in 2013-2014, netting his first collegiate goal in the WCHA playoffs against Alaska-Anchorage.

“Although I am missing the 2014-15 season, I am very lucky for this to have been caught early,” Woods said in a statement. “My doctor promised that I would play hockey again, so I am holding on to that with my life while going through this long process of treatments.”

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare cancer that affects mainly children and young adults. If caught early enough, before it spreads, it can be treated successfully in 50% to 75% of cases.

Brown’s family has started a fund for those who wish to help in providing financial support. A similar one for Woods can be found here.

A college hockey fan and hockey player, Krista Patronick decided to pursue a career in sports management after earning a degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2009 and spending three years in journalism. She received her Master's of Sports Management from Southern New Hampshire University in 2013. After realizing she was meant to work in the hockey world, Krista went to work in any press box she could get into. She kept statistics, wrote shot charts, tweeted and live-blogged her way to a job as an operations coordinator and marketing director at The Hockey Academy in Hudson, N.H. She works with the company's two junior teams, adult hockey players, and youth teams. Krista is a goalie and enjoys playing hockey in her spare time. She is a die-hard Bruins and River Hawks hockey fan. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @KristaPatronick


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