Flames’ Tkachuk shares heartwarming message to cancer-fighting Oilers superfan Ben (VIDEO)

May 20 2022, 3:58 pm

Matthew Tkachuk is more than willing to pause the Battle of Alberta for Ben.

Tkachuk made a special video for 5-year-old Edmonton Oilers superfan Ben Stelter, who is undergoing treatment for a form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

“Hey Ben, I’m sure you’re not the biggest fan of me,” Tkachuk starts with a beaming smile.

“I can tell you’re not the biggest fan of me. I can tell by the video of you shooting a Nerf gun at me, but everyone here in Calgary is cheering you on and we’re all big fans of you.”

Tkachuk’s video message, complete with sign that read “Ben, you may be cheering for the orange and blue, but the C of Red is cheering for you!” was shared by the Flames on Thursday.

“Obviously it’s way bigger than hockey and doesn’t matter who you’re rooting for,” Tkachuk said Friday morning. “We’re cheering him on and he doesn’t like us and that’s just what the game brings. But we’re all obviously thinking about him and his family. He’s a true warrior, so we’re following him every step when he’s at the games and everything like that.

“We’re definitely cheering him on and hoping for the best for him.”


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A post shared by Mike Stelter (@mdan25)

Mike Stelter, Ben’s father, replied to the post, thanking them for the love. 

Ben was diagnosed with glioblastoma over a year ago. He underwent four rounds of chemotherapy and 30 radiation treatment sessions to remove it, but the tumour returned before Christmas, prompting Ben to continue his battle with additional rounds of radiation. 

He’s become an Oilers icon ever since, serving as the team’s Scotiabank Skater for Edmonton’s 5-2 regular season win against the San Jose Sharks on March 25. The game, which featured Ben post-game and in the dressing room, kicked off the run of nine straight wins with him watching in person.

He also has his own Upper Deck hockey card featuring he and Connor McDavid, available in e-Packs for a limited time with all net proceeds directed to the Kids With Cancer Society.

Ben was also there to console McDavid after a Game 4 loss against the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, telling the Oilers captain “You’ve got this buddy.”

Tkachuk’s message Thursday isn’t the only special one he’s gotten in recent days. 

Laila Anderson, who helped inspire the St. Louis Blues to a Stanley Cup victory in 2019 while battling an isolated case of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in her brain, sent Ben her signed hockey card along with a letter of encouragement. 

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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