The Rowe family are neighbors with coach Peter Laviolette, and in 2006 he became very close with them. He was moved by Julia's strength as she fought off a very aggressive form of Leukemia. He started a crusade with the red "relentless" wristbands, which were sold at Hurricanes home games, raising more than $60,000. In addition, trainer Pete Friesen has raised over $42,000 for LLS through his annual 5K road race.
Luke Decock wrote a very nice article today about Julia's passing.
It was a bottle of wine donated to the team by Rowe's father and autographed by Julia that Sabres coach Lindy Ruff referred to as "champaign on ice" during games 6 and 7 of the 2006 ECF.
You can purchase a red "relentless" wristband here , or if you think that whole wristband thing is played out, you can still make a donation to the LLS of Eastern North Carolina by visiting this page.
Friesen's third annual "fun run" will take place on Sunday September 14, and information about it (including a registration form) can be found here.
Just a month ago, the Penguins community lost a young friend and inspiriation for their Cup run when 18-year old John Challis passed away after a life-long battle with cancer. Post-Gazetter has the story here.
Two seasons ago, the Senators had a heartbreaking loss during their own Cup run when three-year old Elgin-Alexander Fraser died from a form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma. Here's how I relayed that story.
Hurricanes winger Justin Williams became friends with Julia's family, and he has been pretty shaken up. He was quoted by Chip Alexander:
It's really heart-breaking for someone so young to go so early... In her own way, she was a part of the team. She really touched our lives. It's an extremely huge loss for everyone.
My heart goes out to the Rowe family for their loss.