Bristol hockey club donates to Gift of Life in memory of teammates

BRISTOL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Grundy Senators Youth Ice Hockey Club donated $10,000 on Tuesday to the Gift of Life Donor Program in memory of two teammates whose organs were donated after their deaths.

"He loved life. Never gave me a problem," said Inga Gannon of Langhorne, Bucks County.

Gannon's son, Patrick, played for the Grundy Senators and died in 2016 at the age of 13 after an accidental fall.

Faced with the worst news imaginable, Inga and her husband, Mike Gannon, were asked if they'd donate their son's organs.

"It was almost impulsive, 'Do it. Just do it.' There's nothing they can do for Patrick, but maybe Patrick can help a whole lot of people," said Mike Gannon.

Eight people received Patrick's organ donations and his legacy continues to be felt at the Grundy Ice Rink in Bristol.

To honor their fallen teammates, players and their families organized a tournament in October to raise money for the Gift of Life.

Senators President Dave Coyne said, "Our goal with the Grundy organization is to make it more than hockey. It's not just about hockey. It's what you're doing for your community."

In 2019, another Senators player, Phillip Oseredzuk died in an accident at the age of 16. His organs were also donated.

Jacquelyn Kates of Gift of Life said she is impressed by what the youth and their families have accomplished.

"It's truly incredible. They've come together, and not only honor their friends' legacies, but honor them in a meaningful way," Kates said.

Their legacies live on in Senators players like Brian Nelson, who plans to get his driver's license this year and sign up to be an organ donor.

"I'm going to check yes just because of the influence of Pat and Phil. They both saved lives," said Nelson.

The money the Grundy Senators raised will defray the cost for families to stay at the Gift of Life Family House in Philadelphia before and after organ transplant surgeries.

The Grundy Senators are planning to host another tournament to raise money for Gift of Life in October.
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