ST. LOUIS – With its Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, the NHL has supported cancer patients and their families for more than 20 years. The St. Louis Blues and the league brought their initiative to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in the Central West End on Monday.

The Stanley Cup, one of the most prestigious trophies in all sports, was on display for cancer patients and their families to take pictures at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge.

The lodge is a free facility for patients and their families to live while they’re traveling for treatment.

 “A lot of times, patients can’t afford to go back and forth. So, without a place like Hope Lodge (to provide) those services, patients would forgo their treatments, and we all know you can’t forgo treatments when you’re trying to become cancer free,” Jason McClellan, senior executive director for the American Cancer Society, said.

“We started Hockey Fights Cancer as a way to give back to a terrible disease that affects not just the fans, but the hockey community,” Matt Langen, senior manager for NHLPA Community Relations, said. “This initiative here and our partnership with the American Cancer Society is to support these families that are going through these times, specifically with Hope Lodges and giving them rides to treatment.”

Seaber Barry and his family are guests at Hope Lodge. They say events like these provide optimism and faith.

“They don’t have to do that and it shows you just how much compassion there is,” Barry said. “And it just gives you hope is what it does.”

After taking pictures with the Lord Stanley’s Cup, patients and their families also received some gifts and a surprise visit from Blues mascot Louie before dinner.