Thursday, August 28, 2008

Relentless: A Too Short Story

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I never met Julia Rowe in person. Like most Hurricanes fans I knew her only from the stories on TV, or in the newspaper. I recognized her picture on the Jumbotron at RBC Center. I knew about her, but I never got to meet this girl who became virtually synonymous with the team's unofficial motto during their run to the Stanley Cup Championship in 2006.

That motto was "Relentless", and you could see it everywhere you looked in those halcyon days. It was on the scoreboard, it was written on banners and signs carried by the faithful during the playoffs. And it was stamped in the red rubber wristbands available on the concourse of the arena at every game. The wristbands were given to anyone making a minimum $2 donation to the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society as part of Coach Peter Laviolette's "Coach's Challenge". Laviolette, a neighbor and friend of the Rowe family, personally matched the first $10,000 in donations and the challenge overall raised over $60,000.


To us in the stands, she was a spunky, often sassy 6-year-old who amazed us with her ability to smile and even laugh in the face of the sickness that ravaged her small body. She inspired a team, and she inspired a city. We cheered when we heard her lukemia was in remission, and cried when we learned of its return.

This past Tuesday, the disease finally won as it invariably does, and Julia passed away at the far too young age of 8 years.

Khuddahafiz Julia. We'll miss you.

Related:


· Still Relentless (Why? What Have You Heard? - September 17, 2008)
· Relentless Redux (Why? What Have You Heard? - September 16, 2008)
· Julia Rowe was Canes' Inspiration in Cup Run (News & Observer - Chip Alexander)
· Canes Lose 'Relentless' Inspiration (News & Observer - Luke DeCock)
· Girl Who Inspired Canes in 2006 Cup Run Dies of Leukemia (WRAL-TV)
· Hurricanes Statement on the Passing of Julia Rowe (CarolinaHurricanes.com)

Hurricanes Head Athletic Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach Pete Friesen will dedicate this year’s Friesen 5k Fun Run to Julia Rowe. The third annual Friesen 5k Fun Run is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 14, at the RBC Center, and all proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For more information, please visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com or www.ncraces.com.
· For more information on the Lukemia and Lymphoma society visit http://www.lls.org/

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6 comments:

tiff said...

Aw, man. Teh suck.

Lil Bit said...

very sad...

Dianne said...

The grace of the very young never fails to astound me.

Peaceful Journey Julia.

Tink *~*~* said...

May she rest in peace. That bracelet rocks.

Tink *~*~*
My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

PS - Like Pluto, Goofy is a dog. The difference is, Goofy is Mickey's friend, but Pluto is apparently Mickey's pet! Don't look at me, I dunno how that works either!

Pud said...

So sad....

Rage said...

RIP julia