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Tumours are losers! Queen's docs and med students to face off in hockey showdown

The upcoming charity game for the Brain Tumour Foundation was organized by medical students to show support for their classmate, Geordie Maguire.

This March 25, Queen’s University medical students will face off against their physician teachers and supervisors—not in the OR, not in the emergency department, not in the clinic—but on the ice.

The inaugural Queen’s Med Fights Cancer hockey game will pit students against physicians from a wide variety of specialties in an event designed to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation.

The game is the initiative of third-year Queen’s medical students to support their classmate Geordie Maguire, who was diagnosed with a grade 4 astrocytoma soon after finishing second-year exams.

A hockey game was an obvious fit to show support for Maguire. He played in the Western Hockey League, for both the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Regina Pats. He also played for the Queen’s University Golden Gaels during his undergraduate degree.

“Many people had the idea of the hockey game,” Molly Cowls, the 2024 class representative of the medical students’ council said.

Man in hockey gear on the ice holding a hockey stick
Geordie Maguire helped plan the event to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Photo by Andrew Lloyd-Kuzik.

Maguire and Cowls began to plan the event in September. Cowls plays hockey too. “If he was a soccer player, I probably wouldn’t have gone all in,” she joked.

More than 50 medical students took part in planning the event. 

It promises to be a fun day. They’ve booked Kingston’s Leon’s Centre and have sold more than 500 tickets. After the game, students and physicians alike can rock out with Old Docs, New Tricks, a cover band comprised of Queen’s department of medicine physicians. Dr. Jim Biagi from the department of oncology will be performing double duty, playing both in the game and in the band.

The class of 2024 are having a pancake breakfast prior to the game, a chance for the class to reunite with each other during a busy clerkship year and to reconnect with Maguire, who took the year off for treatment.

A group of people wearing hockey equipment on ice
Some of the Queen's Med Fights Cancer participants gathered for a fun skate before the game. Molly Cowls and Geordie Maguire kneel behind the goalie. Photo by Andrew Lloyd-Kuzik.

Physician line-up

  • Dr. Stephen Archer (Medicine – Cardiology)
  • Dr. Stephen Bagg (Physical medicine and rehabilitation)
  • Dr. Jim Biagi (Oncology)
  • Dr. Andrew Craig (Cancer Research Institute)
  • Dr. Chris Frank (Medicine - Geriatrics
  • Dr. George Gray (Obstetrics and gynecology)
  • Dr. Mike Hale (Emergency Medicine)
  • Jake Kment (Cancer Research Institute PhD candidate and former OHL player)
  • Dr. Kevin Lee (Neurology)
  • Dr. Noah Letofsky (Anesthesiology)
  • Dr. Jiwei Li (Family medicine)
  • Dr. Bogdan Momciu (Medicine - Nephrology)
  • Dr. Tyler Pettes (Psychiatry)
  • Dr. Michael Rauh (Pathology and laboratory medicine)
  • Dr. Trevor Shoniker (Familymedicine)
  • Dr. Mike Taylor (Anesthesiology)
  • Dr. Todd Urton (Ophthalmology)
  • Dr. Shyan Van Heer (Family medicine)
  • Dr. Jeff Yach (Surgery - Orthopedic)

All proceeds from the event will go to the Brain Tumour Foundation, which has been important to Maguire during his treatment and recovery.

Among other initiatives, the foundation shares stories from brain tumour survivors. Maguire said these stories provided hope that he’d lost after his diagnosis. He also said he has hope that the foundation’s research grants will fund the discovery of new therapies for brain tumours.

So far, Queen’s Med Fights Cancer has raised more than $79,000 for the Brain Tumour Foundation. Their goal is to reach $100,000.  

There’s also an online silent auction where supporters can bid on items ranging from:

  • signed Winnipeg Jets jerseys and other items
  • Toronto Maple Leafs jersey signed by the 2022 team
  • Queen’s Med Fights Cancer merchandise
  • a LCBO gift certificate
  • a hand-beaded pin of a brain by Jamie Thompson, a Métis-settler medical student in Thunder Bay
  • gift certificates to Kingston eateries and attractions

Planning the event has given Maguire extra energy during his treatment and recovery, he said. It has provided enough energy to make him consider the possibility of returning to medical school, something he didn't think was an option when he was initially diagnosed.  

As for the game, it may be a close one. Cowls and Maguire are both on the roster themselves, but agreed that the physician team is really good. “I’m a little nervous that we’re going to be shown up in our own game,” Maguire said.

To donate to Queen’s Med Fights Cancer, buy tickets for the game, or bid in the silent auction, go to the Queen’s Med Fights Cancer website.

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