Flyers turn Oskar Lindblom T-shirts into $50,000 for Ewing’s sarcoma research

Like a rock thrown into a still lake, Oskar Lindblom’s story still has ripple effects.

The latest is a $50,000 grant that Flyers’ Charities will give to Dr. Margaret Chou, an associate professor and cancer researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia since 2019.

The money was raised by the Flyers who sold “Oskar Strong” T-shirts at home games and other fundraising activities after Lindblom’s diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma in December 2019.

“This will help us advance research into this type of cancer at a really critical time,” Chou said. “This is a very rare cancer. Not many people have heard of it, and that’s a problem. If people don’t hear about it, they don’t care.”

Lindblom beat cancer last summer and returned to the Flyers in time for the 2019-20 postseason bubble. He played in 50 out of 56 games in 2020/21.

As expected, Lindblom’s ice age had to be managed last season as the compact schedule often left players little time for recovery between games. Like most of his teammates, his numbers were lower (8 goals, minus-9 rating), although he managed to get into his first NHL fight.

Lindblom last month became the fourth Flyer to win the Masterton Trophy, awarded by the Professional Hockey Writers Association for perseverance and dedication to the game. Bobby Clarke (1972), Tim Kerr (1989) and Ian Laperriere (2011) are the other Flyers to win.

» READ MORE: South Jersey family grateful for Lindblom’s support during their toughest times

The grant, officially known as the Philadelphia Flyers Community Research Grant in honor of Oskar Lindblom, will be officially awarded on Wednesday. It was awarded through the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Money is the lifeblood for scientists trying to eradicate disease, and this will help.

“Every day at SFA, we hear stories about people who have been diagnosed or who have not made it, and we take it so personally,” said Brandi Felser, SFA chief executive officer. “These are people who are literally fighting for their lives, so it’s up to us to fight for them.”

Sarcomas, Felser noted, account for about one percent of cancers in adults, but anywhere from 15-20 percent of those in children. That’s why CHOP is so committed.

» READ MORE: Oskar Lindblom Hopes To Return To The Player He Was, If Not Better

Lindblom, aged 23, was relatively old when he was diagnosed with sarcoma. Thanks to the chemotherapy treatments he received at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, he will turn 25 on August 15.

Chou said Ewing sarcoma diagnoses often have fatal consequences within five years for patients who fail to respond to chemo. Her team is developing cancer immunotherapy, a treatment that has had success in other cancers, but not yet for Ewing’s sarcoma.

“When you think about breast, colon, lung and skin cancers, those are really common cancers,” Chou said. “Everyone knows people who have been affected by it. Everyone donates to them. But this rare cancer, the kind that Oskar had. People don’t know about it, so it’s underfunded.”

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