What's buzzing:

Puck Daddy

How Roberto Luongo inspired woman battling cancer to fight on

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

View photo

.

Getty Images

There are moments when sports become more than an entertainment expenditure or temporary diversion; moments when triumphs over adversity serve to inspire us.

Leigh Maureen Thornton, 38, was inspired by an athlete: Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. Not because he won a championship, as his playoff failures have come to define him. But because of how Luongo navigates through the adversity and criticism given to him by fans and media, and battles on.

Thornton’s in her own battle, you see. The Victoria, B.C. resident has thyroid cancer, and has been undergoing treatment since 2011.

According to the Vancouver Sun, she spent much of her time at home consuming hockey coverage. In Luongo, she saw a player who was being “almost bullied” by the negative reaction to his performance, and marveled at his determination.

She was inspired by Luongo in facing her own adversity. So she wrote him a letter.

From her Facebook page (via the Sun), a snippet of Thornton’s letter to Luongo:

I was knocked down so many times previous to this cancer that I was desperately seeking any source of possible motivation. I wanted so badly to pull through it but felt no strength inside me, however I watched you play hockey in such a way as if you were trying to save your life.

I drew strength from your strength.

You were poised when things were tough,

You made me see I could keep it together too.

I want the world to know that while many may criticize you for the times you didn’t make saves, there was AT LEAST one girl who was not only praising your ABILITY, but feeling your determination and grit and being inspired.

Read the rest here. No word if Luongo has seen the letter yet.

Thornton will next get an update on her health in March. Meanwhile, she’ll continue to be inspired by Luongo thriving as the Canucks goalie after appearing to be banished after last season, telling the Sun: “People don’t feed off bad energy, it just brings you down.”

View Comments (18)
  • Rangers-Wild Preview

    The New York Rangers are the top point-per-game team in the NHL, but the Minnesota Wild hold that distinction since the All-Star break. The Wild have been so impressive in that stretch that they're averaging as many points as their opponents are … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Dalpe nets no-look between the legs goal

    Dalpe nets no-look between the legs goal

    Sabres forward Zac Dalpe gets to the front of the net so he can tip the puck between his legs past Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier for a nice no-look goal. … More »

    NHL Highlights - 57 minutes ago
  • Two-Minute Minor - Playoff countdown continues

    Two-Minute Minor - Playoff countdown continues

    Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski whips around the NHL talking playoff matchups he'd love to see, a surprising first round flop, and Helen Mirren in the Fast and the Furious … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 1 hour 10 minutes ago
  • Suspended Kings D Voynov tears Achilles

    Suspended Kings D Voynov tears Achilles

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has undergone surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 40 minutes ago
  • Buffalo GM Tim Murray praises Sabres players, fans, as tank job hits crucial point

    Buffalo GM Tim Murray praises Sabres players, fans, as tank job hits crucial point

    Sabres general manager Tim Murray went on local radio station WGR550 to talk about his team. And the Buffalo Sabres Twitter account was armed and ready to relay Murray’s message to its masses of 263k-plus followers. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 2 hours 58 minutes ago