The Blues' new ECHL affiliates, the Evansville IceMen, have taken on a prominent role in the "Thumbs Up for Lane" movement that is sweeping the nation and spreading like wildfire on Facebook.
For those who haven't heard, Lane Goodwin is a 13-year old boy in Beech Grove, Kentucky, which is about 200 miles from St. Louis and only about 30 miles south of Evansville. Lane was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer in 2010. After winning the battle for a while, Lane is now struggling mightily because the cancer has recently returned and spread to his brain.
Lane has remained upbeat throughout his fight, always giving a "thumbs up" in photos and to well-wishers. In an effort to generate awareness for childhood cancer, Lane asked supporters to start posting "Thumbs Up for Lane" pictures on the Prayers for Lane Goodwin Facebook page.
Thousands of people from around the world have done so, including the St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum (while on tour in Australia), WWE owner Vince McMahon, the cast of Broadway Across America's tour of "Wicked," college sports teams, school groups, fellow cancer patients, military units both domestic and overseas, and an untold number of total strangers.
After just a week of media attention, Lane's Facebook page has amazingly surpassed 200,000 "likes" and is still gaining thousands of followers by the day.
Yesterday, a few members of the Evansville IceMen paid Lane a visit, and the courageous boy's parents shared a few pictures from the encounter. The photo collage proved to be immensely popular, with 300+ "shares" and 17,000+ "likes" in just over 12 hours...
Lane was actually an IceMen fan prior to the visit. Last season, his parents posted a picture of Lane having fun at an IceMen game. We can only hope he's able to attend many more IceMen games in the future, this season and beyond.
Previously, "Thumbs Up for Lane" photos were posted by another group of IceMen players during an informal practice session, the IceMen front office staff, and a bunch of IceMen fans who gathered at the Ford Center specifically to take a picture for Lane. Also, a former IceMen player (Chicago native and current Missouri Maverick Brian Bicek) got several current and former members of the Blackhawks (including Patrick Kane wrapped in a towel and ex-Blue Jamal Mayers) to pose for a "thumbs up" photo. You can see all of these pictures on IceMenManiacs.com's Maniac Message Board.
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Bleeding IceMen Blue (a.k.a. "Shocker" to Evansville IceMen fans)
IceMenManiacs.com Webmaster and Senior Writer