University comes together to raise money for former player

Kyle Ruppe (centre) in the York jersey with former and current Lions hockey players

Several members of the York University Lions community hosted a fundraiser last week in support of Kyle Ruppe, a former member of the men’s hockey team who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease this past summer.

Hundreds of people attended the fundraiser on campus in support of Ruppe, who played for the Lions for two seasons (2007 to 2009), and together raised more than $3,000 to support him in his fight against the degenerative disease more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Kyle Ruppe (centre) in the York jersey with former and current Lions hockey playersRuppe played defence in a total of 49 games over his two seasons with the Lions, netting three goals and adding 14 assists from the blueline. The squad won the OUA Mid West Division title in 2009 and advanced to the playoffs in each of his years.

Left: Kyle Ruppe (centre) in the York jersey with former and current Lions hockey players

“The news that Kyle had been diagnosed with ALS was both upsetting and unsettling for all of us who know him,” said associate head coach Peter McBride. “But Kyle is an exceedingly optimistic person, his smile is infectious and his personality is such that friendships are immediately created. His attitude through all of this amazes all of us. He could have given up and felt sorry for himself, but instead he has remained positive and, in some respects, has taught all of us how to live.”

Last week’s fundraising event was organized by graduating York men’s hockey players Rob Labute and Brett Short and was attended by the entire 2011-2012 Lions men’s hockey team, as well as current and former Sport & Recreation administration and student-athletes from football, women’s hockey and women’s soccer.

For more information on Ruppe’s battle and to show your support and/or donate to the cause, visit his kyleisbeatingit website.