2017 was Abbey’s first year of playing competitive hockey. We all knew it would be a “building” year for our mostly first-year aged girls, their first time at this caliber. Abbey was the youngest on the team, a late November baby, and she certainly was one of the smallest. And yet, as the season began we were blown away by her spirit on the ice. She worked hard, she played hard and she gave it her all every game. As a defenseman, she would eagerly chase girls twice her size, leaning into them, getting knocked down frequently, but never ever staying down. Her team went into the new year with only one win. And then… it clicked. They started winning. They played together as a team, all of their learning culminating into one great game after another. We were so proud of her attitude, her tenacity, her determination. But the one thing she couldn’t wait to do was score her first goal of the season. We explained to her that as a defensive player, her role wasn’t necessarily to score a ton of goals, just to continue to be a part of her team – working together and always improving. As the season was coming to a close, it happened. A Friday night game, she took a wrist shot from the point…. And it sailed in. As far as first goals go, this one was a beauty. The kind of goal that goes down in history. Her teammates piled onto her, the fans went wild, and as soon as she got back to the bench, the jumping up and down began. Abbey’s goal…. It was so, so awesome.
Our hope, through this fund, is that we will have a small piece of Abbey to know for years to come.
We thought, after that hockey season, that we knew how strong, brave and tenacious our girl was. We hadn’t seen the half of it. On April 13, 2018, Abbey was admitted to Sick Kids hospital and diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis. Our healthy, strong athlete was being betrayed by a disorder that was causing her own body to turn on itself. And Abbey fought. She fought so hard and showed us strength and bravery beyond what we ever thought possible. She defied so many odds. She was already our hero, but through this battle she became the hero of so many others – inspired so many – to fight, to love, to hope. On May 1, 2018, the world lost a warrior. We lost a daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece and friend. We lost a teammate, an artist, an athlete, an advocate. But as inconceivable as it is to live with all those losses, we refuse to live without her. We did not lose our hero, our inspiration, our light. She always was and always will be, all of those things. Our hearts overflow with memories of her happiness and her love, memories of how good she made all of us. One of the hardest parts of losing Abbey, is losing her future. Not getting to know who she will continue to be while she grows and changes. Our hope, through this fund, is that we will have a small piece of Abbey to know for years to come. To watch a tiny part of her grow and change, and continue to spread love to others.
Abbey’s Goal is an organization that looks for yearly ways to make a difference in ways that best reflect Abbey and who she was.
Abbey loved hockey and the hockey community loved Abbey, but Abbey was so much more than hockey. Abbey’s Goal, just like Abbey, is rooted in the hockey community, but reaches out in so many other ways. Abbey was a champion of human rights, of compassion, of giving. She cared about fairness and looked for ways to help her community and the world. Abbey’s Goal is an organization that looks for yearly ways to make a difference in ways that best reflect Abbey and who she was. An organization that supports equity and safe spaces in sport, that strives to give everyone a chance to be a part of a team, and looks for ways to give back. An organization that looks to promote fairness, friendship and positivity, just the way that Abbey did on her teams, in her school, and in her community. Abbey’s Goal allows Abbey’s light to continue to shine. It fulfills all of her goals by continuing to do the work that she would surely have done, by sharing the best parts of her with others. We were so lucky to know her, and we know that everyone that Abbey’s Goal touches will be lucky to know her too.