By Debbie Juniewicz
Dayton Daily News
DAYTON, Ohio – Kyle Cannon’s smile said it all.
“I’ve never seen him smile like that,” Kyle’s father, Jim, said. “I didn’t know he could smile that big.”
That big smile came when the Toledo-area teen was visited by Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock on Sunday, Dec. 21, at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. Babcock’s visit was a highlight for the 14-year-old who suffered a broken neck during a hockey game Nov. 30 at the Kettering Recreation Complex and has been paralyzed ever since.
Babcock’s visit was the most recent example of the outpouring of support that the Cannon family has experienced from the hockey community.
“To be honest, I’m still amazed by the way the Dayton community has supported us,” Jim Cannon said. “It has been unreal.”
Jim was quick to point out how much the support of the Beavercreek, Centerville and Troy hockey teams has meant as well as the visit by several Dayton Bombers when Kyle was in Miami Valley Hospital after the accident.
“Kyle still talks about the Bombers coming to see him,” Jim said.
The Bombers hope to do one better as proceeds from events before and during Dayton’s home game against the Wheeling Nailers on Sunday will help pay for a portion of Kyle’s medical expenses. The goal is to raise $20,000 through ticket sales, a silent auction and other promotions this weekend. One promotion includes donations to take a photo with the famous Stanley Cup, which will be at games today and Saturday.
“Being the local professional hockey team, it felt like something we needed to do,” Bombers owner Costa Papista said. “But everyone wanted to do something, so we reached out to the local youth hockey associations and we were able to work with them to take one of our games and make it a special night for Kyle and his family.”
Kyle’s injury has affected his entire family. Jim has taken a leave of absence from his job to spend weekdays with Kyle in the hospital. His mother, Dawn, takes the weekend shifts. His stepmother, Laurie, does double duty as parent to Kyle’s two brothers and sister, and continues to work. They all will receive independent-living instructions so they can care for Kyle when he goes home in February.
“Our whole world has been flipped upside down,” Jim said. “This was a huge reality check for me and my family.”
While 80 percent of Kyle’s hospital costs are covered by insurance, home care is not covered at all.
“I’ve talked to my creditors, and they’re not backing off, and I’ve talked to our social worker, and we don’t have many options, so we may get ourselves in credit trouble,” Jim said. “That’s why what the Bombers are doing is so huge for us.”
How To Help
To find out more about the Kyle Cannon Family Fundraiser, log on to WebmarkServices.com/Kyle.html.