By Lizette Robles - February 06, 2020
Have you ever played kan jam? Think cornhole tournament with frisbees.
It’s a game getting a lot of buzz thanks to Tampa Bay Lightning stars Ryan McDonagh and Alex Killorn. The duo will host a kan jam tournament on Feb. 7 with help from their Bolts teammates, and 100% of the proceeds from the event will benefit Moffitt Cancer Center’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program.
Last fall, Killorn and McDonagh visited with patients at Moffitt ahead of the team’s annual Hockey Fights Cancer game. The pair toured the AYA lounge, where they learned about the program that works to support the unique needs of cancer patients’ ages 15 to 39 with issues like fertility preservation.
The boys in blue invited five cancer survivors to dinner ahead of the kan jam tournament. One by one, each patient shared stories about how their lives have been impacted by the disease.
37-year-old Megan Wing described the moment she was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in 2013. At the time, she and her husband had not decided whether or not they wanted children. But when she was faced with starting chemotherapy, they had to make a decision very quickly.
“I contacted a clinic about fertility preservation options and they were very informative and compassionate, but the price tag sent me into sticker shock” said Wing. “On top of that, I did not have the ‘right type’ of cancer, so insurance wouldn’t cover any of it. That’s when I realized the decision had been made for me. Never would there exist a unique little person made up of a little bit of me and a little bit of the most awesome man I had ever known.”
Fatima Moral Singh was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was 22. She had a massive tumor wrapped around her spinal cord and underwent emergency surgery. At the time, she was single and due to the circumstances, fertility preservation wasn’t an option. Now married at age 37, Singh met with a fertility specialist to discuss her options.
“Unfortunately after undergoing extensive testing, I was told I would not be able to conceive a child. My husband and I are planning on adopting,” said Singh.
The stories hit very close to home for 30-year-old McDonagh, who has two young children with wife Kaylee. “It’s such a transition point in your life. We can’t imagine finding out you have cancer now while you’re making plans for a family, dealing with hospital bills and getting your career established.”
Interested in attending Kan Jam or donating to the cause? Visit crowdrise.com/mkjam. Spectator tickets are available for $100 each. Two lucky guests will be selected from the crowd to join Killorn and McDonagh’s teams. The tournament begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7 at Sparkman Wharf.
The Rules: How to Play Kan Jam
There will be two flights of 16 teams playing. In each flight, teams will be divided into groups of four. Each team will play against the others in their group for a total of three games lasting a maximum of 11 minutes. The first team to arrive at exactly 21 points wins. If a team has not reached 21 points at the end of 11 minutes, the team with the higher score will be declared the winner so the tournament can continue. The team with the best record among its group of four will advance to the next round, until one team is left standing at the end.