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Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Mitch Marner is leading by example.
On Thursday, Marner opened up about being car-jacked nearly two months after the incident while hosting his annual Marner Assist Fund charity event. His foundation provides resources that will make a significant impact on children’s lives, with a focus on education and mental health.
The incident occurred right after the Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs in May. Marner and his fiancée Stephanie LaChance were robbed in the west end of Toronto by three suspects carrying two handguns and a knife. The suspects reportedly approached them wearing masks, demanding the keys to his Range Rover. The carjacking came just a day after York Regional Police released a warning video about armed car thefts being on the rise in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.
During the charity’s event at the Canadian National Exhibition, Marner revealed how his own mental health was tested in the weeks after the incident.
“It was surreal,” the Maple Leafs winger said Thursday, per the Toronto Star. “I don’t think the fear hits you until after. The adrenalin rush is going through you so hard that, at that moment, you were just willing to do whatever the person asked for. They wanted the car keys. And that was something I was willing to give up with what was happening in that moment and what was pointed at me.
“So in that moment, (it was about) giving the car keys, getting away from the vehicle and trying to find the closest person to call 911 and try and fix the conflict.”
When reflecting on the incident, the All-Star forward admitted to having flashbacks when getting back into a car.
“It was definitely a crazy day,” he said. “Luckily enough, we weren’t hurt. Me and my fiancée were perfectly OK coming out of it. So that’s all that really matters in the end. But it definitely does affect you mentally. It does come into your mind for a couple of weeks… just kind of hitting you when you’re back driving a car.”
Marner was joined by several of his Maple Leafs teammates, including captain John Tavares, David Kampf, Mark Giordano and Jake Muzzin. Former teammates like James van Riemsdyk and Jack Campbell also joined the devoted forward to support his work with the Marner Assist Fund, now in its fourth year.
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