Hurricanes players and staff members were saddened today to learn of the death of Julia Rowe, the young girl whose battle with leukemia proved so inspiring to the team during its run to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Rowe's death 'heart-breaking'
Submitted by chipalexander on 08/26/2008 - 12:50
Rowe, a neighbor of Canes coach Peter Laviolette, was the impetus behind the "relentless" motto that the team adopted during the playoffs. Laviolette sold wristbands to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Eastern N.C. Rowe's family donated bottles of Shafer's Relentless wine to Laviolette — signed by Rowe, then 6 years old — to give to players who epitomized that motto.
"It's always sad to see a young kid go through that she had to go through," captain Rod Brind'Amour said. "To me, the thing that's most sad is she was in tough shape for a long time. Obviously our thoughts go out to her family."
Canes forward Justin Williams and his wife are friends of Julia's parents, and he praised Julia's determination and spirit.
"It's really heart-breaking for someone so young to go so early," Williams said. "In her own way, she was a part of the team. She really touched our lives. It's an extremely huge loss for everyone."
Hurricanes trainer Pete Friesen had announced his third annual pre-camp 5K around the RBC Center on Sept. 14 would be held in honor of Julia Rowe. Today, he had to fight back tears in talking about her death.
"I didn't know her really well but the influence she had on our team, especially during the Stanley Cup run, was second to none," Friesen said. "I think in her own way, she helped us win the Stanley Cup, because a lot of times you can start focusing on how tough it is. And then Coach brought Julia Rowe into our lives.
"Then you knew what was really tough. If she could battle that, we could battle a seventh game or whatever we had to face."
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