Helping Brynn Win: Dolphins Hockey Holds Benefit for Young Cancer Victim

Helping Brynn Win: Dolphins Hockey Holds Benefit for Young Cancer Victim

Instead of memorizing the alphabet like other kindergarteners this year, a bright young four year old named Brynn has already started memorizing the names of her medications and asking the doctors to take her vital signs.

At four years old, Brynn Levitsky has already been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia three times and received a bone marrow transplant. Just a few weeks ago, Brynn and the Levitsky family received that news that Brynn had cancer for the third time since she was 22 months old, this time found in a mass of scar tissue near her heart.

When Le Moyne Hockey Coach Bob Shattell heard about Brynn’s third diagnosis, he looked for a way to help the family with the financial struggles of childhood cancer. Shattel learned about Brynn’s case through co-worker, and Brynn’s aunt, Linda Banach.

“Brynn is a very bright and energetic 4 year old who is wise beyond her years. [She] is also a typical child who loves to play with her ‘My Little Ponies’, Shopkins and make video commercials with her best friend Lauren,” said Banach. “She has spent 3 years of her life in and out of hospitals for treatments and tests. A journey that no one should have to go through, especially not a child.”

Shattell decided to take action for the Levitskys, scheduling a benefit and fundraiser to aid Brynn and her family to be held on Sunday Nov. 22. At the event, the men’s Hockey team will raffle off baskets, hockey apparel and 50/50s. The team will also be accepting donations throughout the entire game for Brynn’s cause.

The team itself will not benefit from the fundraiser in any way, and instead will donate $10 to the Levitskys for every goal they score that night.

“This is Brynn’s 3rd time fighting this disease and as one can imagine the expenses and bills can grow immense,” said Shattell. “The idea behind the game is to raise funds for the family as they go through this tough time.”

Not only can Brynn not attend school for her treatment, but neither can her mother Kara, who works as a preschool teacher. Banach described Brynn’s parents, Kara and Brian as hard working people caught in financial challenges due to unforgiving circumstances.

“While cancer becomes the new normal for the family, the emotional and financial strains remain; that is why we are so grateful and thankful to The Le Moyne Men’s Hockey team in their support of Brynn and her family,” said Banach. “One of our main goals is to educate and make people  aware of the need for more research in the area of childhood cancers. We need to continue to fight for a cure.”

In November of last year, the Hockey team held a similar fundraiser for the Dicocco family, and was able to raise approximately $1700 in one night. Le Moyne Puck will look for a similar outcome this year. Shattell expressed that the team’s fundraising goals for the events are as high as they can reach, but would realistically love to raise $1,000-$1500 for the family.

“When we did our fundraising event last year for the Dicocco family the LeMoyne community did an amazing job coming out in full force. People I had never met before asking how they could help and what they could do to spread the word,” said Shattell. “That’s what we are looking for again this year. Is for the Le Moyne community to help in anyway possible and let this little girl know that we are here for her.”

To support this cause, the Hockey team asks that you come out on November 22, to the Onondaga Nation’s Arena, to not just support the ‘Phins, but “Help Brynn Win.”

“The guys on this team know it is the right thing to do and they look forward to helping out in the community as much as they can,” Shattell said the Dolphin squad. “They do a great job of understanding there are things much bigger than hockey in this world and this is one example.”

Junior Chris Spoto explained the importance of the event to the hockey team, and how playing for a cause can bring out a different side of them. Especially when each goal they score, counts as a donation to the family.

“We always get very pumped up during these fundraising games. We spend weeks working hard, and spreading the word to get others as excited as we are,” said Spoto. “Over the last few years I have noticed that the team tends to play at a different level altogether during these game because of how important they are. To me this particular game is one of the most important that we have had in my time at Le Moyne.”

For anyone who can not attend the game, but still wish to donate to Brynn’s cause can visit her website at