Long Island hockey goalie raising money for breast cancer awareness with 'October Saves' program

WANTAGH, Long Island (WABC) -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and for one 14-year-old hockey goalie from Wantagh, making saves is cashing in for him.

Keegan Groom faces shots on the ice from opponents regularly as a goalie on the New York Aviators, but his family's toughest opponent came three years ago when he was just 11 - his mother's breast cancer diagnosis.

"It's tough some days, it's hard to get out of bed," said Kelly Groom.

So Keegan wanted to find a way to help. He heard about 'October Saves,' a program in which hockey goalies of all levels receive pledges for the number of saves they make in the month of October.

In Keegan's first year participating, he raised $10,000.

"I remember his words very distinctly were 'we have to do something more than just the pink tape this year,'" said his father, Rick Groom.

"When he showed me his 'October Saves' page, and people were already donating, I cried...I couldn't believe it, that I was so touched that other people were contributing to his cause," said Kelly.

Keegan says that he knew in his head that every save he was making would make a difference.

"Before every game I would prepare myself - 'this is for my mom,' or 'this is for other people like my mom,'" he said.

To date, the 'October Saves' program has close to a thousand goalies registered in the United States and Canada from youth to NHL goalies.

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