CHOC Update


Generous funding from “Give Blood, Play Hockey” continues to critically support CHOC Children’s oncology research.

Contributions from “Give Blood, Play Hockey” advance vital research conducted by Mustafa Kabeer, PhD, and Calvin Li, PhD. These oncological studies explore ways to engineer a patient’s own cancer cells to trigger an immune response against the tumor. Drs. Kabeer and Li are currently working with a lab model of neuroblastoma to test their hypotheses. If the approach works, it could be applied to other solid cancer tumors. This would enable the creation of personalized tumor vaccines that engage the patient’s own immune system in their fight against cancer.

Thanks to the impactful philanthropy of donors like Give Blood, Play Hockey, we have established one of the most exciting advances of our oncology program this year— our Molecular Tumor Board. Results from molecular interrogations of patient cancers, including whole genome sequencing, are presented to the physician treatment team that comprise the Board. These findings are then integrated into the diagnosis and treatment of our patients. Molecular tumor profiling promises to identify targets for drug intervention not identified by conventional methods, which will improve diagnosis, treatment and the long-term survival of our cancer patients.

Brent A. Dethlefs

Executive Director, Research Institute

CHOC Children’s


2016 we hosted the 10th Anniversary of Give Blood Play Hockey. We raised the bar again on our way to our $1 million dollar goal. Give Blood Play Hockey continued to donate all funds raised to Research for Clinical Trials and Research into the Genomics of Diseases like Cancer and Blood Disorders. We surpassed $750,000 mark in total donations to date and we have now donated 2573-pint of life saving blood (each pint can save up to 3 lives). Donations can be made on line at


2015 stacked up as the best year yet. In April, Give Blood Play Hockey supported the Strale family as they hosted the 1st Annual Casey’s Cup Charity Ice Hockey Tournament to raise money for the Translational Genomics Research Institute, or “TGen”. TGen is a non-profit biomedical research institute in Phoenix. Using genomics technologies, they analyze tumors to identify mutations, which help them design new tests and therapies to treat Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma (ACC), the disease that afflicted Casey, and other cancer types. TGen was working on a genomic cure for ACC when Casey passed away. The mission of the TGen Foundation is to positively impact the lives of patients and their families by raising funds that accelerate TGen’s efforts to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. TGen’s is in partnership with CHOC Children’s Hospital, which will enhance CHOC Children’s ability to pass that research and benefits on to their patients.  The partnership will also further Give Blood Play Hockey’s mission to help find cures. Additionally, Give Blood Play Hockey continued to donate all funds raised to Research for Clinical Trials and Research into the Genomics of Diseases like Cancer and Blood Disorders. At the tournament, we collected 418 pints of life saving blood and topped the $600,000 mark in total donations to CHOC since the tournament’s inception. The record support of the community shattered all previous records for GBPH.


In 2014, the Give Blood Play Hockey family was more determined than ever to find a cure for cancer. We shattered a weekend record by collecting 327 pints of blood and topped our previous fund raising mark by netting $119,000. In addition, The Rinks-Irvine Inline hosted a golf benefit generating another $10,000, bringing our total donations to CHOC to date to just under $500,000. We have made a long-term commitment to donate $1 million to CHOC Children’s Hospital by the 13th tournament in 2019, a goal that our tournament ambassador, Casey Strale, would want us to achieve as Casey proudly wore #13 on his hockey jersey. We also met another young warrior, 6-year-old Niko Greco, who is bravely battling Leukemia. His courage and his family’s positive attitude further inspired the Give Blood Play Hockey family. Our funds continued to support Research for Clinical Trials and Research into the Genomics of Diseases like Cancer and Blood Disorders.

In February, CHOC Children’s opened the new wing of the hospital. Many Give Blood Play Hockey volunteers were on hand to celebrate the state of the art facility and to see the “Give Blood Play Hockey” oncology patient room and medication station that we helped build with our donations. We had the opportunity to meet many CHOC personnel, including Dr. Leonard Sender, Medical Director of the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s. The staff was so grateful for the work Give Blood Play Hockey has done on behalf of the many young patients at CHOC Children’s.

In April, Give Blood Play Hockey received the CHOC Charley Hester Award for Outstanding Volunteer “For exemplifying the ideals of Philanthropy & Volunteerism in service to CHOC Children’s.” It was a remarkable achievement for every Give Blood Play Hockey volunteer and wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment and support of the hockey community.  We were again reminded of the importance we play in the journey for the researchers and doctors at CHOC Children’s to find cures for these devastating diseases.

In June, our ambassador, Casey Strale, lost his brave 4-year fight with cancer. While we are all devastated by the loss, the Strale family, and the memory of Casey’s inspiring spirit renewed our commitment to find a cure for this terrible disease. The tournament forged ahead and GBPH far exceeded its goals. We were able to donate a record high of $112,000.00 to continue to support Research for Clinical Trials and Research into the Genomics of Diseases like Cancer and Blood Disorders while donating 304 pints of life saving blood to local Orange County blood banks.

At the 2012 tournament, Give Blood Play Hockey pledged all funds to Research for Clinical Trials and Research into the Genomics of Diseases like Cancer and Blood Disorders. $70,000.00 was raised and donated to that fund. Finding a cure for these diseases is critical. For more information, please see the videos below:

Video Courtesy of CHOC Children’s

Video Courtesy of CHOC Children’s

In 2011, Give Blood Play Hockey made a $50,000.00 pledge to CHOC Children’s to fund a Medication Station on the Oncology floor of the new wing of the hospital. The combination of the tournament hosting a record team capacity of 84 teams and the generous outpouring of donations and support from the hockey community gave Give Blood Play Hockey the ability to complete the pledge in a single weekend. On Saturday afternoon, November 3, 2012, Give Blood Play Hockey will once again present CHOC Children’s with our signature hand painted check to signify the donation from the 2011 tournament.

CHOC Rendering

2012 CHOC Check


After the completion of the 2008 tournament, Give Blood Play Hockey took a leap of faith and made a $100,000.00 pledge to CHOC Children’s to fund an Oncology Patient Care Room on the 5th floor of the new wing of the hospital, which was scheduled to open in 2013. We knew the commitment was a big endeavor for a tournament that started as a high school service project and was supported purely by volunteers in the hockey community. We decided to take the maximum time frame to complete the pledge of 5 years, just in time for the opening of the new wing. By the end of the 2010 tournament, it was clear that Give Blood Play Hockey was a force to be reckoned with, as we were able to complete our pledge in just three short years. On October 22, 2011, Give Blood Play Hockey presented CHOC Children’s with a ceremonial check for $100,000.00 with help from the Anaheim Duck’s, Wild Wing, and other premier sponsors of the event.

Give Blood Play Hockey was just an idea of 17-year-old Mary Quayle, a senior at Mater Dei High School. She had the idea to do a service project that would collect life saving blood in honor of her grandfather who died of a blood Cancer. Taking the initiative to preserve her grandfather’s memory and her love for hockey the idea started to form into a reality. Mary and her parents assembled a group of volunteers. In an early email from Mary’s father, Dale, to the volunteer group, Dales asked, “Do you think we can really make this happen?” The answer was “Yes”. With 47 teams participating in the tournament and the collection of 107 pints of blood, Give Blood
Play Hockey netted $26,100.00 that was donated to CHOC Children’s for Pediatric Oncology, thus beginning our relationship with CHOC.

Inline Hockey Charity Tournament