Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Northland Hockey Players and community members are rallying around a former Marshall Hilltopper who’s battling a condition that could steal his sight.
After Connor Shockley started losing vision in his right eye, doctors found a brain tumor on his optic nerve.
"It started with shock and disbelief,” Jim Dembroski, Connor’s stepdad said. “We couldn't imagine that Connor had a tumor."
Since then, he has completed six weeks of intense radiation in the Twin Cities area, while still maintaining his course load at UMD.
"He's very positive, which of course, through life, you want to be positive,” Greta Dembroski, Connor’s sister said. “But he's been extremely positive."
A positive attitude, family and friends say, he's had in all areas of his life, that will get him through this tough time.
"He was a very good student,” Michael Damberg, a family friend said. “On the ice, he was a gritty little kid, he is the kind of kid who loves to win. He just loves what he does and always has a passion for what he does."
Connor was a skilled hockey player, and a good player and he was always a determined player," Brendan Flaherty, Varsity Hockey Coach said.
He's one tough kid,” Michael Ehrhardt, Head of Marshall School said. “He was always someone who was beloved for his tenacity here. If there is anyone that is going to have an opportunity to beat this it's going to be him."
But, the fight isn't over. Doctors are concerned the tumor could spread, resulting in complete blindness.
Connor will continue frequent MRI's to monitor his tumor.
"We don't know if it's 100 percent successful, but we're a family grounded in faith,” Jim Dembroski said. “We pray a lot and we have a lot of support."
To help Connor and his family pay for the extensive medical treatments, you can buy ‘Shockley Strong’ bracelets.
A benefit and silent auction will be held following the Marshall versus Benilde St. Margaret’s Hockey Game on Friday from 7:30-10 p.m.
"We know a lot of really good people,” Travis Shockley, Connor’s brother said. “It's a tough circumstance for us and I think people are just doing what they can to help."
Any monetary donations can be sent to:
Connor Shockley Benefit Fund
C/o NSBC, PO Box 16450
Duluth, MN 55816-0450
Donations can also be dropped off at any North Shore Bank of Commerce Branch.