This is Ben Fanelli. He’s 18 now. 2 years ago he got drafted in to the Ontario Hockey League by the Kitchener Rangers. He prevailed at their camp and earned a spot on the roster. OHL seasons consist of 68 games… Ben Fanelli got to play 7.
On October 30, 2009 Ben was hit in to the boards by a member of the opposing team.
something no fan, player, coach, and especially no mother, wants to see. Well Fanelli’s mom was at that game. She saw her son’s life come close to being ended.
Fanelli was air lifted to hospital where doctors concluded he sustained a fractured skull and orbital bone as well as facial lacerations.
The forward who hit Fanelli was then suspended indefinitely by the Ontario Hockey League.
Fanelli spent 8 days in the hospital before he was released.
Halfway through last years OHL season, after Fanelli was repeatedly told he could not play hockey today, not today, not today, he looked to his teammates and friends Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Murphy for help in a new method of training. Training to become a triathlete.
Ben trained and trained and trained and trained.
Before he could complete the triathalon he wanted to create something he could support. So he created HEAD STRONG.
Head Strong is in support of the Brain Injury Association of Canada. Ben raises money to give to them so they can help people like himself who have suffered brain injuries and with the support of friends, family, teammates, Kitchener Rangers fans, and just hockey fans in general, he is doing just that.
On June 5th 2011 Fanelli took part in the Milton Subaru Triathalon. Swimming 750 meters, followed by a 30 kilometer bike ride and a 7.5 kilometer run all in 2 hours and 4 minutes. That’s pretty good for a guy who has a body built and trained for the game of hockey. But he did it.
Countless hours of training, fund raising, golf tournaments, and educating people on brain injuries and how serious they are paid off and on September 1st 2011 Fanelli returned to the Aud’s ice in Kitchener for the Rangers blue vs white game. It was the first time he would play on that ice since he nearly died on that ice almost 2 years prior.
September 23rd, Kitchener Rangers home opener, Ben received a long standing ovation from the crowd.
So now Ben needs others to support his cause. Zehr Insurance Brokers nominated HeadStrong for the Aviva Community Fund to receive 35,000 dollars that will go towards 10 scholarships given out by the BIAC (Brain Injury Association of Canada) to help people, like Ben, that have suffered brain injuries, with financial aid to pursue education.
It takes 10 seconds, and you can vote 15 times, once per day.
To learn more about Head Strong go it’s Facebook page HERE
Follow Ben and Head Strong on Twitter HERE
It also won’t hurt you to reblog this for others to see. Simple clicking of a few buttons and you could be helping others immensely.