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8 hockey teams across the state help 4-year-old Colorado girl get treatment for rare disease

California surgeons could save Lucy Cadenas' life after she's fought hemimegalencephaly from the moment she was born
8 hockey teams across the state help 4-year-old Colorado girl get treatment for rare disease
Posted at 12:39 PM, Nov 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-27 23:05:03-05

MONUMENT, Colo. — Loved ones say Lucy Cadenas, 4, is a bundle of a joy who makes everyone around her laugh with her infections smile. But life has been anything but easy for Lucy.

"We've had the ambulance at our house more times than people do in a lifetime," said Lucy's mother, Janey Sprouse-Cadenas.

Lucy was born with a rare genetic condition called hemimegalencephaly, which causes part of the brain to be abnormally larger than the rest. As a result, Lucy suffers from life-threatening seizures.

"At 3 days old, Lucy was diagnosed with hemimegalencephaly, which is a rare neurological disorder that causes the left side of her brain to be larger than her right," Janey explained.

After traveling around the country for the right medical care, her family thinks they've found the right surgeons who could cure her permanently at a UCLA hospital. However, the treatment requires expenses they can't pay on their own.

Lucy's family reached out to the community for help, and eight hockey teams across the state stepped up.

"Because the hockey community is so close and has such a huge collective heart, as soon as you say, 'Hey, charity tournament for whatever,' everybody jumps in," organizer Shannon Daly, said. "I think in the first week we announced we would hold this tournament, all team spots were filled".

At the Monument Ice Rink, hockey players came together for an Ironman-style tournament, with proceeds going toward a nonprofit Janey created.

"Ultimately, we're looking to provide support to families, to provide funding for them to really mentally, emotionally, physically be there for them — and not just for hemimegalencephaly, because that is rare, but it's for rare families in general," Janey said.

She's looking forward to seeing Lucy live a regular life filled with her favorite hobbies, like soccer and gymnastics. The nonprofit, named after Lucy, is called Lucy's Warrior Foundation.

Hockey players support a 4-year-old girl with a rare disease