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Vegas Junior Golden Knights player fighting leukemia with the support of his teammates

Posted at 4:53 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 20:57:02-05

There's not much Colin Magdon doesn't love about hockey.

"You could skate and shoot and make more friends," said Colin.

At 7 years old, the Vegas Junior Golden Knights player has been playing nearly half his life. When he was 6, his talent earned him a spot on the traveling 7-year-old team. But over the past couple months, pain threatened to sideline him.

"My legs get tired easier," said Colin. "Sometimes I just need to take some rests."

Colin's parents took him to several doctors over as many weeks, but no one could identify the cause of his pain. As they waited for a diagnosis, Colin insisted on continuing to play.

"When he would walk, he would almost look like a 95-year-old man, just hunched over, in complete pain," said Keith Magdon, Colin's dad. "A complete 180-degree turn from how he was when he would skate."

A blood test at Summerlin Hospital led doctors to a diagnosis -- Colin had leukemia. It was devastating news, but Magdon said he, his wife and oldest son knew they needed to put on their game faces.

"We couldn't not be strong for him," said Magdon. "So it quickly went from emotional to we have to take care of it."

But it wasn't just Colin's family rallying around him -- his teammates and their families, plus others from the youth hockey community joined in to show support for the young player. Magdon said in the days after the diagnosis, as the news spread throughout the hockey community, he estimated more than 100 people paid Colin a visit in hospital. They brought handwritten cards, signs, stuffed animals and a couple new jerseys -- custom Golden Knights gray and white, with Colin's number 44. 

"They're really, really nice," said Colin. "What they drew and what they did."

Colin said he understands he can apply the lessons he's learned on the ice to his current fight against cancer.

"You can always work hard and never give up," said Colin.

Colin underwent his first round of chemotherapy Tuesday. He will have three more treatments over the next few weeks, followed by more treatment. Colin and his family hope he can return to the ice as early as March, but that will depend on his treatment.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with the cost of treatment.