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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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A fundraiser featuring a hockey game between Clay and Anthony Wayne will be held Friday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. at Lucas County Arena to to benefit the Kyle Cannon Fund.

Cannon is the Clay hockey player who was paralyzed during a game last year in suburban Dayton. The 15-year-old is a sophomore at Clay.

Cannon was injured on Nov. 30, 2008 when he was checked from behind and shoved into the boards. Cannon suffered an injury to his C-5 vertebrae with 28 seconds left in the second period of Eagles' tournament game against Lexington, Ky.

The Clay hockey team honored Cannon last season by wearing a patch with Cannon's initials and the No. 3, Cannon's jersey number.

Both teams at the Jan. 1 benefit will wear special jerseys commemorating the game, and the jerseys will be auctioned following the game. All proceeds will be donated to help Cannon's family help defray some of the costs associated with his injuries.

 

Other activities will include a raffle for a Gordie Howe-autographed Detroit Red Wings jersey, a Toledo Walleye jersey autographed by the team, a variety of sports memorabilia provided by Hall of Framers in Waterville and many other items of interest to hockey fans.

Both high school teams will be selling Walleye ticket vouchers to cover the cost of hosting the game in the new downtown arena.

Kyle's father, Jim Cannon, said five or six fundraisers have been held on Kyle's behalf since the teenager's injury occurred last year.

"We had a benefit through the Dayton Bombers last December and there were thousands of people there," Jim Cannon said. "To go there and see all these people ... and the other teams had Kyle's number and his initials on their jerseys. His name was put up all over the arena Jumbotron, and the Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus, New Jersey and Boston (NHL teams) all sent memorabilia for a silent auction."

Kyle's initial in-patient rehabilitation after the accident was done at the University of Michigan. He returned home in March and has been doing rehab at The Recovery Poject, a spinal cord rehab center in Livonia, Mich.

Cannon is paralyzed from the chest down.

"The problem with spinal cord injures is there is nothing local (for treatment)," Jim Cannon said. "As far as intense, true, spinal cord (rehabilitation), there is nothing closer than Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, and The Recovery Project.

"We had to travel through the summer; he went to The Recovery Project through August. He's going to school full-time and we backed up his therapy up to three days at week at Medical University of Ohio, where he does physical therapy and occupational therapy, which means trying to get him to feed himself and refining what little movement he has to make it work in everyday life."

Jim said Kyle has some strong movement in his right arm.

"He can turn on push-button lights with his right arm," Jim said. "He can't feed himself or scratch his eye, nothing. In the beginning, he was in denial. We went through a stint over the summer when he was really down in the dumps. The last month or six weeks, he's been really upbeat and his normal self."

Kyle has home health care, which includes a health care provider who comes to his home at 5 a.m. to help him get ready for school. Kyle uses his chin to operate a motorized wheelchair.

"He's doing well at school," said Kyle's father, a union carpenter who took five months off work following his son's injury. "We've had a couple bumps in the road, but for the most part he's been really on it.

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