The 11-Day Power Play is now in day five inside Buffalo’s HarborCenter. The third-annual marathon charity hockey game reached a fundraising milestone Monday. An estimated 2,500 local hockey players are taking turns in what organizers and original players say is no easy feat, keeping a continuing game in progress for 11 continuous days. To gain a better appreciation for the participants, this year I became one.

My three-hour shift was with a team known as the Cancer Fighting Comets, made up of men from various professional backgrounds and ages. Its captain was Tim Collins, who lost both parents to cancers and has loved ones and friends who have battled various forms of the disease more recently. When speaking to the team in advance of our shift’s start, he reminded players that they were playing for loved ones who have survived cancer, have died from it and, in many cases, will one day have it.

Read more about Michael Mroziak’s story.