Athlete’s Name: Sam Cashin
Athlete’s School: Edina High School, now at South Education Center Transition Program
Athlete’s Team: Minnesota Special Hockey - Stingers (out of Braemar Arena)
Athlete’s Level: MN Special Hockey does not have levels, but Sam is one of their top players
Athlete’s story: Sam learned to skate before he was 3 years old. His parents and older sister (Lucy) would take him to open skating and people would be amazed by his skating abilities. His dad built a skating rink in their backyard, he was great on his feet and was learning how to control the puck. When he was in Kindergarten (1998) he was diagnosed with epilepsy. No one could predict how it would affect his life. When he was in first grade he played his first year of organized hockey. He was one of the many Edina Mites. It wasn't as successful as his parents thought it might be, he keep having seizures while he was on the ice. Because his seizures were not under control and were affecting his learning abilities, they decidedthat he could not play his second season. Sam's parents consulted many doctors, tried many different medications, strange diets, and multiple surgeries. He seizures were still not under control, but he was still the happy, active, funny kid everyone cared for and loved. For years Sam didn't have a hockey team to play on. He still skated, watched his sister and her friends play, but could not participate in "typical" sports anymore. When MN Special Hockey started in 2006, Sam had a team. He had to miss 6 hockey seasons, but then, it became all about his hockey. His sister and her friends watched his team, he had his own jersey, games, team parties and a stinky hockey bag. Sam thinks he is the best hockey player around, he loves to talk about it. He is great at telling people about MN Special Hockey, is very proud of it, and thinks that everybody should play hockey.
Athlete’s favorite hockey moment: Sam has so many favorite hockey moments it is hard to pick one. He loves traveling to the away tournaments, team bonding on the bus, and playing teams from other states. He takes pride in representing MN Special Hockey around other hockey teams from all over the country.
Message about the Hendrickson Foundation and how we have assisted: The Hendrickson Foundation has given Sam many fun opportunities. They have provided transportation to the USA Disabled Festival, Sam loves to ride the bus with all of the other players, they have some great team bonding moments. Sam has skated at the Xcel Energy Center, he has practiced with the Golden Gopher hockey team and met famous hockey players and local celebrities. The Foundation has provided amazing opportunities that he will never forget.