Dozens of hockey players from teams across Connecticut and families came out on Monday to Enfield Twin Rinks for a worthy cause.
In 2016, parents Sarah and Poulin lost their 5-year-old son, Jacob to brain cancer. Together, as a way to donate to research to eliminate brain cancer and honor the memory of their child and his favorite activity, playing hockey, they founded the Jacob Roger Foundation.
The rink in Enfield was packed with supporters of the cause, wearing jerseys emblazoned with Jacob’s name and number on the back.
“Jacob was a really special little boy,” said mother, Sarah Poulin. “His life touched so many people in his short time here and he fought like a true warrior.”
Jacob was diagnosed with cancer on April 2, 2016, but his parents told Channel 3 Eyewitness Sports reporter, Caroline Powers that his tumor didn’t stop him from getting on the rink.
“He couldn't play enough,” said father, Steve Poulin. “He gave himself hockey homework. He'd practice shots before school, after school. It was his true passion.”
Family friend, 13-year-old Jimmy Gilbert told Channel 3 that Jacob wanted to be on the ice as often as possible.
“All he did was want to play hockey with me. He used to come over every Saturday. He always came over, he always wanted to play hockey. Played board games, back to hockey, played video games, and back to hockey. So that's all he wanted to do,” recalled Jimmy.
In under a year and a half since his passing, the Jacob Roger Poulin Foundation has grown exponentially, with no plans to slow down.
“When something tragic happens in your life, something that's insurmountable, you must make something come out of it or it could swallow you up,” described Sarah.
“Just kind of trying to get into a positive vein as quick as possible was really important for us.”
Sarah and Steve Poulin said the support they have received is immeasurable. Currently, the Jacob Roger Poulin Foundation is raising money to build a park in Ellington in Jacob’s honor.
To donate, click here.