Ice hockey star shows support for Sheffield teen battling cancer
An international ice hockey player has become the latest sports star to show his support for a talented Sheffield teenager battling cancer.
Haris Hussain was diagnosed in March with blood cancer and the 18-year-old, from Chapeltown, is desperately seeking a stem cell donor to help him beat the deadly disease.
The Sheffield United fan is a gifted ice hockey linesman, who has already officiated in the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) and been tipped to graduate to the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League.
He is a popular figure within the ice hockey community, which rallied to show its support as iceSheffield hosted the EIHA’s Junior League Management Committee (JLMC) National Finals over the weekend.
A bake sale and a raffle with prizes donated by Sheffield Steelers and numerous local businesses were among the events held in aid of the blood cancer charity DKMS UK, which helps find life-saving donors, and the total raised is expected to exceed £1,000.
Great Britain forward Liam Kirk, who counts Haris among his friends, was a special guest at the tournament in which he competed as a youngster. He donated his stick from the GB-Canada game to the cause, and it fetched £250 in a charity auction.
Craig Simpson, EIHA’s media officer, said: “Haris is a very popular linesman and when he was diagnosed it hit people really hard, especially his fellow officials, so making DKMS our nominated charity for the weekend seemed a fitting thing to do.
“The response has been excellent, with the hockey family really pulling together to support one of our own, and there’s still time for people to donate.
“Haris is still fairly young but he’s one of our up-and-coming linesmen and has been predicted to make the elite league in the not-too-distant future.”
Before becoming a linesman, Haris had represented Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy from under-11 to under-18 level, and had appeared at numerous JLMC National Finals.
His mum Caroline Hussain said: “Haris has made so many friends through ice hockey. They’re a great family and it’s so kind of them to think of him.
“We’ve managed to get lots of people onto the donor register and this money will help DKMS cover the cost of registering those new donors, which is about £40 per person.”
It’s not just on the ice where Haris, who is undergoing chemotherapy, excels. He is also a very talented cricketer, who has has represented Yorkshire at under-19 level and plays for Wath Cricket Club's first team.
Earlier this month, more than 170 people registered as potential donors during an event held during the England v Pakistan one-day international at Headingley.
Former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom was among those who had swabs taken that day to see if they were a potential match for Haris or the other 2,000-odd people on the waiting list.
More than 140 people had previously answered the call when Sheffield United hosted a donor drive in April.
You can donate via the National Finals – Charity Page for DKMS appeal on JustGiving.
For more about DKMS and how to register as a donor, visit dkms.org.uk.