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Local breast cancer survivor shaves two Comets players' heads as part of 'Pink the Rink'

By ALLISON NORLIAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Leslie Leone, a five year breast cancer survivor, shaved two Utica Comets players' hair off on Friday, as part of the first 'Pink the Rink' night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Leone's battle began in 2008. She underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Five years later she is cancer free and spreading awareness about the disease.

Leone said shaving Utica Comets,  Darren Archibald and David Marshall's hair brought back memories from her experiences with the disease.

"When I first had my cancer I had a big clump of hair come out and I came home and said to my husband I think its time for it to come off," Leone said.

Archibald and Marshall both had their own reasons for participating.

" One of my best buddies, his mom had breast cancer a few years ago," Archibald said, "We lost her and you know this is something I've done every year in memory of her and for him."

Marshall made the decision based on his grand father who passed away last year.

"My grandfather got sick and he had to shave his hair off and I tried to shave my head but he wouldn't let me," Marshall said, "But he said it would look bad two bald guys next to each other so I went to the mo-hawk for him. I lost him last year so it's nice to help out as much as you can."

The Utica Comet's have encouraged all of their fans to wear pink to the sold out Friday night game. The players will be wearing pink jerseys. Pink towels will be given out to all fans who come in the doors and 1,000 pink carnations will be handed out to the first 1,000 women.

The players jerseys will be auctioned off to fans where all proceeds will go to the Breast Care Center at Faxton St. Lukes Hospital.

Mark Caswell, Communication Director for the Comets said they are raising money other ways to donate to breast cancer research, "We're doing a round up the rink where jugs will be in concourse where you can donate money. We're encouraging if you buy something from the concession stands, take the change and bring it over to the jugs and that money will be donated as well."

A portion of the 50/50 raffle will be donated to breast cancer awareness too.

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