My Islanders Account


  • RSS


During the month of October, the National Hockey League and the Islanders work to recognize the cancer by celebrating Hockey Fights Cancer. This is your story.

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 10:00 AM ET / News
Share with your Friends

By Mark Hinrich, in rememberance of his mother

I'm a huge hockey fan, and have been for almost 25 years. I missed the Islanders run of four Cups by about four years. My mom watched my cousins play hockey in the early ‘80s, when our family would visit Portland, OR. But she never went to other games. She said it was too chaotic to watch the Winterhawks of the WHL.

My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer about three-and-a-half years ago. She was supposed to be driving back between Tulsa and Stillwater, both in Oklahoma. For whatever reason, divine intervention, luck of the draw, no one knows... but for some reason, she decided to stay in the airport motel that night. It had been a long day going from Europe back to Oklahoma.

I received a phone call from my sister two days later. Mom was in the hospital in Tulsa, she had been found unresponsive, on the floor of the motel, and luckily she had NOT driven back home that night. The brain cancer diagnosis came a few days later. This came a few years after her dad had passed away from brain cancer as well.

My sisters and I were able to get her moved back to Portland, OR just after the holiday season. I remember being at the nearby mall with Mom, talking about what was to come. The chemo, which took away her beautiful hair; and the brain cancer itself, which was taking away her incredibly bright mind and her calligraphy skills. The Christmas cards just didn't seem the same when she put her name on them because the swooping letters from the calligraphy just weren't there and the way she did write her name just wasn't the same. My family mentioned it several times.

I was fortunate to be able to go out to dinner with her one last time in May of '08. She was in a wheelchair, but it didn't dampen her spirit one bit. She was aware of everything going on around her. The dog, Tiger, barked happily at me when I arrived, and I took him for a long walk before dinner. Unfortunately, it was the last time that Mom was able to go out of her new home at the care center. Her condition slowly went downhill. Visits became more difficult because she wasn't able to talk much. Tiger had to be moved in with other family members so that he could be looked after. Mom had lost her dog. She would complain about it occasionally on visits. "They took my dog away!!"

A different visit, she tried to convince me that Freddy Mercury, former lead singer for Queen who had passed away about 15 years ago, was coming to town for a concert soon. I think she had seen an ad for the "Queen with Paul Rodgers" concert and put the two things together.

I remember that one of the few bright spots was when my wife would bring her service dog, Bailey, to the care center to visit Mom. We would lower her bed and put her hand on Bailey's head, so she could pet his head. Bailey even was able to climb onto the bed next to her, and just lay with her. It was very sweet.

Earlier in the summer, Mom had made the decision not to go ahead with another chemo treatment. She said it just wasn't worth going through another round, especially when she might only gain a few weeks at the most. That was the toughest decision because it only confirmed what I had known was coming – Mom wasn't going to win this battle. I knew it, but I didn't want to admit it for a long time.

When she finally passed away, two days before Thanksgiving, I was able to soften the blow of her passing by remembering that she hadn't been "Mom" for awhile and now, she was free of the cancer. Free of everything that had robbed her of who she was, what she had been and had taken away her Ph.D.

I know that in the not-to-distant future, cancer will go the way of the dodo bird and when it does, I will rest easier knowing that while both my grandfather and my mom may have passed on to a better world, their passing will have helped future generations. It's a day that I look forward to seeing.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Tavares 11 6 5 -3 11
K. Okposo 11 2 6 -3 8
F. Nielsen 11 3 3 -3 6
B. Nelson 11 1 4 -5 5
T. Hickey 11 1 4 -5 5
A. Quine 10 1 4 -1 5
S. Prince 11 3 1 -1 4
R. Strome 8 1 3 1 4
N. Leddy 11 1 3 1 4
N. Kulemin 11 1 3 -5 4
T. Greiss 5 6 2 .923 2.46
J. Berube 0 0 0 1.000 0.00
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster | Terms of Use