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[Article] This is what Luongo means to some fans


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#1 cmpunk

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:19 PM

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Vancouver Sun article of a women battling cancer writing to Luongo

Link: http://www.vancouver...0973/story.html


A B.C. woman who is battling cancer wants Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to know that

he has made the most important save of all: Her life.

Desperate to find motivation to help her cope through draining rounds of thyroid cancer treatment,

Leigh Maureen Thornton turned to her love of hockey.

Thornton, 38, a nurse who lives in Victoria, has had a tough time with her health since she was a

child, including having Crohn’s disease. She thought she’d had her share of illness in life, but then

her health worsened and in 2011, doctors told her that she had thyroid cancer and that it had

metastasized into her lymph nodes.

She was terrified. Ever the cheery optimist, Thornton now felt crushing defeat and didn’t think she

had the mental strength to endure surgery and radioactive isotope therapy.

“You hear the word cancer and you think death sentence,” she said, in an interview Saturday. “I felt

like I had been beaten back so many times in my life, and how much can one body take anyway?”

Housebound and without a voice for 10 months because of damage to her right vocal cord caused

by surgery, Thornton watched a lot of TV during recovery, mostly hockey and hockey interviews.

In the fall of 2011, she watched as Luongo continued to endure the backlash from that summer’s

Stanley Cup loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

She was shocked by how much vitriol fans hurled at the goaltender over his performance, when

really, she said, he is “the embodiment of determination.”

She began to imagine that Luongo was playing hockey as if he was trying to save his life — and it

helped her to visualize fighting for her own.

“I was reading all the criticism, and there was so much negativity, almost bullying ... yet under all that

pressure he was so mentally strong and poised,” she said.

It was then she told herself that if Luongo could block out all that negativity from people all over the

country, then perhaps she could block out the negative thoughts about dying and focus on her goal

to survive.

As she waits for a body scan in March to find out whether she is cancer free, Thornton wanted to

thank Luongo. So she wrote him a letter and posted it on Facebook, hoping he might see it one day.

In the poignant letter, she says she drew strength from watching him pick himself up every time he

was defeated.

“I wanted so badly to pull through [the cancer] but felt no strength inside me, however I watched you

play hockey in such a way as if you were trying to save your life,” she wrote.

“I drew strength from your strength. You were poised when things were tough. You made me see I

could keep it together too.”

In closing the letter, Thornton writes to Luongo: “You may not know this but you made another save

... My Life.”

Although she has yet to find out whether the cancer is gone, Thornton said her doctors have told

her that her blood work looks good, she feels healthy and has more energy, and doesn’t have any of

the symptoms of cancer.

And who knows, said Thornton, maybe if the fans stopped complaining all the time and booing

Luongo on the ice, he would play better. “People don’t feed off bad energy, it just brings you down,”

she said.

Thornton also credits the support from her mom, dad and brother as well as friends for helping her

pull through.

“The body follows the mind, so I decided I have to remain positive. If you are positive and so are the

people around you, your body feeds off that,” she said.

Stephanie Conrad, a childhood friend from Ucluelet, described Thornton as someone of enormous

strength who, despite having to overcome so many health struggles, always has “such a positive

attitude.”

Here is the letter:

Dear Roberto,

I am sure you’ve heard this a million times before, so I struggle with how to [start] out here.

You are,”Number 1,” to me in so many ways.....

Of course, you are the greatest goalie there ever was or is.

Your love for the game of hockey is palpable.

You wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to what you do.

And for that, here in Canada, thank you.

You show the class and grace of a professional athlete at all times;

Qualities such as these, to me, make you stand out even more positively and you make such a great

role model for the youth of today.....

But more importantly.....

You. (and this is where I get choked up), are the embodiment of DETERMINATION.

Why? Because while you kept picking yourself up each time you felt defeated, I watched you while I

battled this evil existence known as cancer. (I purposefully did not capitalize the word cancer so as

to not give it more power).

You see, I was knocked down so many times previous to this cancer that I was desperately seeking

any source of possible motivation. I wanted so badly to pull through it but felt no strength inside me,

however I watched you play hockey in such a way as if you were trying to save your life.

I drew strength from your strength.

You were poised when things were tough,

You made me see I could keep it together too.

I want the world to know that while many may criticize you for the times you didn’t make saves,

there was AT LEAST one girl who was not only praising your ABILITY, but feeling your determination

and grit and being inspired.

I want the world to know that while they criticize or focus on what didn’t go right in a hockey game,

there are more important things to think about like the strength of the human spirit, the ability to

inspire each other, and the fact that with a bit of teamwork and humanity, we can all get through

challenges in life.

... And lastly, you may not know this but you made another save....My Life.

Sincerely,

Leigh Maureen Thornton
ticrawford@vancouversun.com

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

Edited by cmpunk, 03 February 2013 - 11:20 PM.

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#2 cmpunk

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:28 PM

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Schneider is a great guy, great goalie, I like the guy, but I don't think he will ever have the impact Roberto Luongo has had on this team, city and as written here on the fans.

He is the heart and soul of this team and city, although he may get moved, this team and city will never be the same without him.
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#3 Markus Alexander Cody

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:33 PM

wow...
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credit to allons-y

Certainly going to be our #1 defensemen. Give him a couple more years to improve his game and he'll be our new and improved version of Matthias Ohlund in no time

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^Truth


#4 c00kies

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:33 PM

Hockey is not just a game, it is a way of life.
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#5 SynysterGates

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:35 PM

I wasn't aware that we lost the cup to the Blackhawks.

But really this is a touching story. Hopefully Lu reads the letter and can respond or get in contact with her.
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#6 Armada

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:38 PM

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Luongo's a hero to many people.

Played a huge part in our community, but people don't realize this. He's put tones of work into what happens outside of the game.



Where ever Luongo goes or stays in Vancouver he'll always be my favorite player ever.

Edited by Armada, 03 February 2013 - 11:39 PM.

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#7 cmpunk

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:40 PM

People that hate Luongo only think of just hockey. To some important people he will always be a hero to them and that is something that nobody can ever take from him.
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#8 Pineapples

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

Wow, I really hope that she'll be alright when her tests come back. All the best to her.

Keep on Luuing Leigh!
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#9 kesburr1714

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:43 PM

Luongo not only plays a big role in the Canucks organization, he has also done alot for the city of Vancouver and managed to impacted many peoples lives, like through Lui's Crease
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#10 DownUndaCanuck

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:50 PM

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Clearly Luongo > God
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#11 Gumballthechewy

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:51 PM

People that hate Luongo only think of just hockey. To some important people he will always be a hero to them and that is something that nobody can ever take from him.


He's this generations McLean.
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Don't take anything I say seriously! EVER!


#12 Tragoedia

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:53 PM

I don't want him to leave!
When he leaves it will be sadder than my last breakup, which was a long time girlfriend. It wasn't nearly as painful as this will be!

Edited by Tragoedia, 03 February 2013 - 11:54 PM.

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#13 Watermelons

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:10 AM

I wonder if Luongo will pay her a visit sometime soon...
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#14 Zissou

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:15 AM

I don't want him to leave!
When he leaves it will be sadder than my last breakup, which was a long time girlfriend. It wasn't nearly as painful as this will be!


...this is pretty weird. Your favourite hockey team losing their goalie is more painful than your breakup with your long term girlfriend? I hope you're exaggerating.

Anyway, this is a really great story. I'm sure Luongo will read and respond to the letter.
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#15 cmpunk

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:17 AM

#number1 #LUUUUU
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#16 Markus Alexander Cody

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:17 AM

I wasn't aware that we lost the cup to the Blackhawks.

She probably meant during that playoff series where we lost a 3-0 series lead and saw a crapload of people down talking Luongo and how he is the worst goalie in the NHL ever and all that stuff..
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credit to allons-y

Certainly going to be our #1 defensemen. Give him a couple more years to improve his game and he'll be our new and improved version of Matthias Ohlund in no time

Posted Image

^Truth


#17 mbal23

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:25 AM

She probably meant during that playoff series where we lost a 3-0 series lead and saw a crapload of people down talking Luongo and how he is the worst goalie in the NHL ever and all that stuff..


it says we lost the cup to them...
"In the fall of 2011, she watched as Luongo continued to endure the backlash from that summer’s Stanley Cup loss to the Chicago Blackhawks."
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#18 mbal23

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:26 AM

it says we lost the cup to them...
"In the fall of 2011, she watched as Luongo continued to endure the backlash from that summer’s Stanley Cup loss to the Chicago Blackhawks."


ohh nvm its talking about the time we lost in the second round to them for the second straight year
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#19 Stick-in-Rink

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:31 AM

Wow this absolutely beautiful.

I love how she gathered strength from Lu, being a hockey player is more than being on the ice it's how you deal with everything off the ice. And Lu is a perfect example of how it's done. The way he handled all of the trade rumours through the very long offseason, brushing it off and even making humour out of it via twitter amazes me. Suddenly fans everywhere began to like him, but really he was the same guy all along.

The way she was able to draw from this and find inspiration for herself just shows her very strong character. I really do wish her well, for a fan that stuck by Lu when she needed him the most.

Lu wherever you end up, you've been an inspiration and a symbol to tons here in Vancouver. Your grace and poise through everything is astonishing and I really hope by some luck you end up here for awhile. You drew me into hockey and I'll never forget that. I'll Luuuu until I die.
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#20 Markus Alexander Cody

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:33 AM

ohh nvm its talking about the time we lost in the second round to them for the second straight year

oh lol... I read it a bit too quickly :P
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Certainly going to be our #1 defensemen. Give him a couple more years to improve his game and he'll be our new and improved version of Matthias Ohlund in no time

Posted Image

^Truth


#21 VanNuck

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:38 AM

I wasn't aware that we lost the cup to the Blackhawks.

But really this is a touching story. Hopefully Lu reads the letter and can respond or get in contact with her.


That was a mistake there. But yes, Luongo really was supposed to have immortalized his place in Vancouver, particularly after the 2010 Olympics, being the one Vancouver Canuck to play for the gold-winning Canadian team on Vancouver Canuck ice.

And really, he may no longer be captain, but during the 2011 run, he took charge on the ice, was our biggest reason we even reached 15 wins, and thus in all respects, he was effectively the real captain again.

That Luongo was blamed by some crazy fans for single-handedly losing the Stanley Cup to the Bruins is the biggest joke in hockey since Alexander Daigle. Those fans may as well have been the same people who rioted downtown that evening.
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#22 GLASSJAW

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:50 AM

he has made the most important save of all: Her life.


why is "her" capitalized, here?

i used to be marked down for capitalization after a colon (barring, of course, proper names and sentences), but now i'm just confused
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le temps restitué

 


#23 Merci

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:54 AM

I am ready to say at this point, if I wake up and Schneider has gone to another team and brings back the pieces that will put us over the top.

I will Luuuu once again.





And pray to god he gets it done when it counts.
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Keslerific, on 25 May 2014 - 4:47 PM, said:

Gaunce is wayy cooler though, Gaunce is the kind of guy you want to bring with you to Costco

 

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#24 Milk Hot Dog

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:04 AM

Clearly Luongo > God



Luongo is short for Luongod. & it will be written... he was traded for our sins.
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#25 rawkdrummer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:30 AM

Thanks Lu!

Could we start Schneids anytime soon?
He's paid his dues (and some for that matter) not easy to back up the LU!!!!!
He deserves another start this season, doncha think!
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#26 bassboy4

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:51 AM

Luongo is short for Luongod. & it will be written... he was traded for our sins.


This is possibly the best English sentence. Ever.
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Posted ImageMilk Hot Dog, on 04 February 2013 - 02:04 AM, said:




Luongo is short for Luongod. & it will be written... he was traded for our sins.


#27 nuck nit

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:07 AM

I love the woman's strength and battle heart.
Luongo will not be traded for our sins but that of the contractual sin of MG the GM.
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#28 canucks.girl1

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:41 AM

I wonder if Luongo will pay her a visit sometime soon...


I think if he sees the letter he will. It totally sounds like something he would do.
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#29 мцт вяздк чф

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:42 AM

i hope Lu doesn't leave us, i'd be more content with Cory leaving us if a goalie needs to be traded. Lu is the face and heart of the team.

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#30 debluvscanucks

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:56 AM

I wish her well in her fight.

I understand this fully....hockey is one of the only things to keep us together at times in this household....it seems too simple/insignificant, but it's not. Most have heard the long story of my Mom's love of the game (well, mostly Trevor Linden. And Brent Sopel?).

We connect to these guys like family as, sometimes, we're isolated, lonely, afraid and have moments where it overwhelms us. To be able to turn on a game and focus on something of hope and anticipation (vs despair and worry) can be huge.

I really got something out of this (mostly a tear running down my cheek). It's been suggested that this be closed/merged, but I feel it should stand alone. We always can use an inspiring story that encourages us to keep going,despite the obstacles we may be facing.

Luuuu.
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