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Young Blackhawks fan who dropped puck at recent game dies

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Lauren Graver was 10 years old.

Lauren Graves, the young fan who dropped the puck at the Blackhawks’ “Hockey Fights Cancer” night last month, has died at the age of 10. She had been diagnosed rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare muscle-based cancer, before starting second grade.

The Blackhawks tweeted that they were “heartbroken” by the news.

Lauren gave Blackhawks fans one of the most touching moments of the season when she joined Eddie Olczyk, who was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year, to drop the puck before the Blackhawks faced the Ducks on Nov. 27. Olczyk could be seen fighting off tears next to Lauren before they dropped the puck with big smiles on their faces.

Before the game, Lauren had shown her excitement for the big day.

It’s pretty much impossible to get through that at this point without sobbing, but Lauren’s joy for the world and passion for those around her came through even in those brief moments Blackhawks fans shared with her. That’s definitely how we’ll all remember her.

There will be a wake for Lauren from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday at St. Raymond de Penafort Church in Mount Prospect. Her obituary asks attendees to “wear what you feel best in, but know that Lauren would love if her supporters wear the attire of her beloved Chicago Blackhawks, as she will be.”