The Third Annual Mike Nichols Charity Hockey Game this Friday, April 21st at Prudential Center will benefit spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives.
Proceeds from the game featuring many former and current NHL stars will go to the Nichols Family Trust to provide for Mike's medical needs, as well as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injuries by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis.
Mike Nichols sustained a spinal cord injury in 2014 during a Monroe High School varsity hockey game after being checked from behind. Mike and his father Steve came to the WBGO Studies in Newark for this edition of SportsJam with Doug Doyle.
Mike's number 23 jersey is honored at Monroe High School. He's received incredible support from his community and his family. Nichols says the Rangers, Devils and Islanders have also been extremely supportive since he was injured.
“Every team from the tristate area has been behind me. It’s been from the get-go. The support from all of them has been unwavering. It’s really been incredible."
Mike has shown unbelievable courage since the 2014 incident and has been going through intense rehabilitation. Even when he couldn't feel anything after the hit on the ice, he was trying to reassure his family he'd be alright.
“I wasn’t worried. I just knew the people around me were going to be in shock and very distraught. But I wasn’t, from the moment it happened I was very calm.”
Mike's father Steve says he's so proud of his son.
“His courage, and his strength gives me the will to fight. Because of him, I continue to believe that he will walk again.”
Mike is attending Middlesex County College and hopes to be a broadcaster, especially covering hockey.
“Ever since I was little, if I couldn’t make it to the NHL, then I’d want to talk about hockey. Whether it’d be on the radio, or on TV.”
Former NHL players like Devils great Ken Daneyko, ex-Rangers Tom Laidlaw, Tie Domi and Brad Richards and former Islander goalie Rick DiPietro will all participate in the charity game. Recently retired Devils star Patrick Elias will also be on hand.
Mike and his family will be there too.
For more information about the game and tickets, you can go to www.Reeve.org/hockey.
Click above to hear the entire SportsJam with Doug Doyle featuring Mike and Steve Nichols.