In 2014 the Canberra Knights folded, but the Canberra community rallied together and the CBR Brave emerged. Since 2014 the CBR Brave have become arguably the greatest franchise in the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL). When I first became sick I would watch the livestreams of the Brave’s games and dreamed of skating again – and maybe one day even playing one last game.
Fast forward to Christmas of 2019. My family and I were spending the Christmas period with friends in Canada. A few days after Christmas we headed to a local mall as I had been wanting to purchase new skates for some time — parts of my old skates were literally being held together with tape after years of faithful service. It was late, but on the way home from the mall we saw a local park with an outdoor rink and I asked if I could just quickly try my new skates out. We jumped out of the car and I laced my skates up. I was nervous. My body was not in a good place at this time as I fought to manage my Still’s and I wondered how my body would cope.
I stepped out onto the ice.
I began to skate around the rink, and it is hard to describe, but I felt out of rhythm in some ways. I struggled to hold my edges and quickly became breathless and light-headed. But despite this, for just a few moments I felt free from my illness.
A few days later we made the journey to Lake Louise and Jess and I played pond hockey in sub-zero temperatures in the most extraordinary and breathtaking setting. A memory I will always cherish.