365 days a year, the Springfield Thunderbirds and the T-Birds Foundation are proud to be leaders in the fight against cancer. Players from the Thunderbirds participated in November by growing facial hair, a symbolic gesture to staying diligent in the fight.

The fight against cancer stretches far beyond the walls of the hockey rink, though - the Springfield Thunderbirds fondly remember Alex Blais and Rachael Kowal, two members of the Pioneer Valley community who embody the strength, determination, and courage we all strive to emulate. One day, we hope to celebrate a cure. See their stories below: