May 7, 2012
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. – Brooke DiBona and her family officially became a part of the Boston College women’s ice hockey team on Monday, when the two sides met at Conte Forum. As it turned out, the DiBonas has already met some of the Eagles, while Brooke was undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
Julie DiBona, Brooke’s mother, was quick to recognize the friendly smile of Kristina Brown, one of BC’s leadership quartet, and shared a picture of Megan Shea, a graduating senior, spending time with Brooke. In addition to Brown, Blake Bolden, Kate Leary and Jackie Young make up the leadership group that will work closely with Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses.
Following a brief tour of Conte Forum, the Eagles on hand welcomed the DiBonas into the locker room to eat pizza and get acquainted with each other. Brooke and Taylor, her sister, rode scooters and posed for a few photos, while Chris, Brooke’s father, shared a little of the family’s experience. Photo Gallery
Brooke is an eight-year-old from Holbrook, Mass. diagnosed with ALL in September 2010, the most common form of leukemia discovered in children. The typical treatment for ALL consists of three phases and spans two to three years. Brooke went through 45 days of isolated, in-patient chemotherapy, which has a success rate of 95 percent. Three days after going home from the initial treatment, further tests revealed Leukemia remained in 14 percent of her cells (anything below five percent is considered remission). Brooke went through another five days of intense chemo and then fought through a bone marrow transplant. She completed the final two phases of treatment in February 2012 and is now in remission, but returns to Dana-Farber every four weeks for follow-up tests.
Brooke considers hockey her favorite sport and favors the number three, the jersey currently worn by Erin Kickham. Zdeno Chara is her favorite athlete, while Selena Gomez is her favorite actress. She is a big fan of the Twilight movies, in particular Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. Brooke likes to play outside with her sister and scout the woods with her father.