By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4)– Tom Petersen and his wife Angie have had one constant through their marriage, Colorado Avalanche hockey.
“My wife, she’s been a Peter Forsberg fan forever,” said Tom.
“I’m a huge fan! I’ve always loved his style. He’s fantastic. My hockey idol,” said Angie, who wears the number 21 on every hockey team she plays on.
Friday night, the Petersens got the opportunity of a lifetime. They dropped the puck to start the Avs game as the team and UCHealth teamed up for the Hockey Fights Cancer night.
Tom started feeling pain in his arm in early 2014, but it wasn’t until an MRI showed a cancerous mass within his bone.
“It had eaten through the bone and that’s what myeloma does, it lives in your bone marrow and just ate through it to the point it broke,” he said.
He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare, incurable blood cancer.
“We knew this was really where we needed to come to get treated properly,” he said about UCHealth.
He’s been receiving near constant chemotherapy since his diagnosis.
“I’m doing pretty well, we’ve been on the same therapy for about a year now,” Tom said.
A few years ago, Tom’s received a new doctor. A myeloma specialist was hired by the hospital and took over Tom’s treatments. His name: Peter Forsberg.
“We like to get people back to as much as their daily life as we can,” said UCHealth Oncologist Dr. Peter Forsberg. “He and Angie are hockey fans and they thought this was just the coolest thing that the new doctor was going to be Peter Forsberg.”
“I thought this has got to be a good sign. To have my absolute favorite hockey player be the name of our oncologist seemed like this is a good omen,” Angie said.
“He’s our Peter Forsberg in our life. He’s our hero,” said Tom.
The Avs are auctioning off special jerseys worn before the hockey fights cancer.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.