Dallas Stars, Carrollton teen working together to raise childhood cancer awareness


DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) — The Dallas Stars boosted the spirits of one of its biggest fans before Monday night’s game at the American Airlines Center.

The team and a Carrollton teenager are trying to raise awareness of childhood cancer through a special clothing collaboration.

Back in May, Jayden Simmons was playing baseball and trying to regain his childhood robbed by four bouts of bone cancer and the loss of his right leg below the knee. 

He had hoped the worst was behind him. 

“Probably a week after, I started to feel like excruciating pain in my leg,” Simmons explained.

That pain he felt in June led to more bad news. 

“There’s tumors all around in my leg so I’m not able to walk around,” he said.

But the prognosis hasn’t broken his spirit. 

“They said I would probably have six more months or a year left to live, and they say I’m doing much better than I was before,” Simmons said. “So, I don’t think that’s the right prediction there.”

The 15-year-old is in a wheelchair as he battles cancer once again, but nothing could stop him from being all smiles at the AAC when one Dallas Star after another thanked him for helping design a special T-shirt and knit cap the team wore during a morning skate.

“Oh my gosh, it’s very exciting,” said Simmons of meeting Stars captain Jamie Benn. “He walked up to me, shakes my hand and goes, ‘Jamie,’ and I’m like, ‘You don’t need to tell me who you are."”

The shirts and hat are part of a campaign to raise childhood cancer awareness, and are being sold online by Salood to raise money for an organization that helps families financially impacted like Simmons’.

“It just really brightened his day,” said Simmons’ mother Ashley Selby-Karney. “Maybe gave him something to look forward to. We’ve been working on this for maybe a couple of months now. It was just really a lot of hard news this year. This is something super fun and super great for him to do.”

Dallas Stars, Carrollton teen working together to raise childhood cancer awareness

CBS News Texas

The shirt Simmons designed has got Dallas Stars on the front and on the back, an image he helped create.

When asked what he contribued, he said, “Right here is me actually on the ice and my purple prosthetic.”

His friends later joined him out on the plaza where his Hockey Fights Cancer collection was on full display. 

Afterward, he was gifted a new Stars jersey and watched the game right behind the glass, where some of the toughest athletes in sports competed with one of the toughest teenagers cheering them on.