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.