FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Every weekend the Fort Wayne Freeze public safety hockey team competes against other departments in the region, usually for charity, but Saturday’s game against the Toledo Fire Department was a little closer to their hearts.
The team, made up of Fort Wayne Police Department employees, have played for a lot of causes but few have hit as close to home for them as that of Fort Wayne Police Officer Andrew Fry, 27.
“Earlier this year in the fall I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” said Fry. “It was shocking. It;’s still a lot to deal with but we’re moving forward. I feel fine. We’re doing treatments and going from there step by step.”
Fry, who was given a stage four diagnosis, said he has seen a lot of support in the community, especially from his fellow officers. There is no known cure for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma so it is likely that he will be facing treatment for some time. His partner, officer Spencer Munger, said they wanted to organize the hockey game with a silent auction to help Fry and his family cover the cost.
“He’s going to deal with this for the rest of his life,” said Munger. “It’s not curable so it’s something that he’s going to have to be a treatment for the rest of his life. Obviously medical bills are very expensive and so if we can raise a lot of money now, that’ll lessen that burden because obviously something like this, there’s going to be a lot of burdens on you, your family, you body, things like that.”
It was hard to Fry to accept the help at first. He even initially said he did not want to benefit from the hockey game, but if there is anything he has learned since his diagnosis it is that it is okay to accept help when you need it.
“It’s so easy to help other people but then when you need the help,” said Fry. “It’s weird being in that position. I’ve learned it’s selfish of me not to want that help because if I wanted to give someone help and they kept telling me no, I’d probably be upset with them because that’s all I want to do and I know it’s not a burden even though it may feel like it is.”
The game was free to the public and any money raised through donations will go to help Fry and his family. The team did not set any particular goal because they said every little bit helps.