Special moments for young Cape Bretoner at Cops Against Cancer fundraiser OCN News


It was a special day that had been in the making for nearly a year for five-year-old Leo Knott and his family on Saturday at the annual Cops Against Cancer ball hockey fundraiser.

“Nine months ago, when Leo was here, he was having chemo. Today he’s back, cancer-free, to drop the ball,” Const. Dwight Miller of the Cape Breton Regional Police, organizer of the annual Cops Against Cancer fundraising ball hockey tournament in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia

Last year, when Leo gave the opening ceremony at the annual event, he was battling a rare form of cancer known as Langerhans cell hystiocytosis, or LCH. Today he is in remission.

“It’s really special that they asked us to come back, cancer free,” said Holly Knott, Leo’s mother.

“It’s been really difficult. He’s completed 26 chemotherapy. He too, because of this type of cancer, he developed something called diabetes insipidus. So he’ll probably have that for the rest of his life. But that’s okay, it’s managed with medication every day, there have been a lot of them.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the tournament was back at its original home at the Glace Bay Miners Forum. During COVID-19, he had to stand in a parking lot outside.

The event raises funds in memory of Constables Mark Royal and Tara Morgan. Royal and Morgan were Cape Breton Regional Police officers who lost their lives to cancer while on the force.

“That’s why we’re doing this,” Miller said. “The goal today is for kids like Leo. Just to see him smile and be there to help is great.”

There was also a special surprise on Saturday that no one expected. A custom-made life-size replica of the Stanley Cup appeared and was presented to Leo.

“It touched my heart,” said John Sanipass, who works with the sheriff’s department and bought the replica cup after meeting Knott at last year’s tournament. “And I said, ‘It’s going to be a yearly thing, for anybody who wants to play. This cup will belong to them. It’s not mine, it’s everyone for this community.

The tournament ended on Saturday afternoon.

The event typically brings in around $5,000 each year, however, with auction items like a signed Vladimir Guerrero Toronto Blue Jays jersey, organizers are hoping to top that mark this year.

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