Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Teen Lightning fan gets 2nd chance to meet team, this time cancer-free

Jake Warner, 17, had his left leg amputated below the knee at Thanksgiving after meeting the Lightning eight days earlier.

Warner family

Jake Warner, 17, had his left leg amputated below the knee at Thanksgiving after meeting the Lightning eight days earlier.

RALEIGH, N.C. — After his Make-A-Wish moment meeting the Lightning in mid November, Jake Warner set a goal.

The next time the Lightning played the Hurricanes in Raleigh, where Warner, 17, lives, he would be able to walk into PNC Arena and see the game.

He faced a difficult task. Warner had his left leg amputated below the knee on Thanksgiving in an attempt to rid himself of a rare cancer called pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma.

But Sunday, when the Lightning played the Hurricanes, Warner was there, with the help of a prosthetic and a cane, wearing a Steven Stamkos jersey. With followup scans revealing that he is cancer-free, Warner got to see his first NHL game since his November visit to Tampa.

"Needless to say, he has had this date circled on his calendar for a long time," said Jake's father, Craig.

Jake grew up playing lacrosse and hockey — he was a left wing and a center — before his diagnosis last year. During a family vacation, Jake got hooked up with the Lightning for the November meet-and-greet — which he dubbed a "dream come true" — after the family reached out to former Hurricanes and current Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, who relayed the message to Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

Craig said that though the family has Hurricanes season tickets, it "cannot begin to tell you how much it means to me what the Lightning organization has done for Jake." Jake planned to meet with Yzerman and players against after Sunday's game.

Jake is even having a customized prosthetic made with the Lightning logo, though it wasn't ready for Sunday.

"This story truly does have a happy ending," Craig said.

Teen Lightning fan gets 2nd chance to meet team, this time cancer-free 02/21/16 [Last modified: Monday, February 22, 2016 12:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant

    Last season: 28-4

    This week: Thursday vs. Bloomingdale

    Plant High outside hitter Camryn Vogler (1) hits the ball over the net past St. Thomas Aquinas outside hitter Kirsten Klos (10) during the Class 8A state volleyball final between Plant High and St. Thomas Aquinas at West Port High School in Ocala, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. St. Thomas beat Plant High 3-0.
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Key roster battles

    Bucs

    Greg Auman looks ahead to tonight's third episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," and talks about key roster battles that could shift with the Bucs' third preseason game Saturday night against the Browns on our …

    Bucs running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) is hit by middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58) while running the ball during training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Rays series preview: Who are the Blue Jays?

    Blogs

    Last week, the Rays faced the Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre, dropping three of four. This week, they'll play three games at Tropicana Field. Here's the information you need to know about Toronto before the action kicks off.

    Third baseman Josh Donaldson hit four home runs in as many games against the Rays last week.
  4. And the most-searched NFL player in Florida is ...

    Bucs

    The Bucs just faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason, and open their 2017 season at the Miami Dolphins. So with the state's NFL competition ahead of and just behind the Bucs, who do you think is the NFL player most searched on Google by Floridians?

    Fans react with excitement moments after the Bucs announce their first-round pick at the team's 2016 NFL draft party. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. 5 miles and a lot of emotion between Sickles, Alonso

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — From one campus to another, the distance between Sickles and Alonso high schools is 5.4 miles.

    New Alonso coach Reggie Crume spent three years at Palm Harbor University, so he knows a little something about neighborhood rivalries. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)