Denna Laing made her first public appearance Sunday since suffering a significant spinal cord injury in the Women’s Winter Classic on Dec. 31. Laing joined her Boston Pride teammates on the ice before warm-ups for their game against the Connecticut Whale Sunday at Harvard’s Bright Landry Center.
The Pride used the game to help raise money for Laing’s recovery efforts and to show support for the 24-year-old as she fights to regain as much mobility and function as possible after her injury left her with limited movement in her arms and no movement or sensation below the chest.
Laing has quickly become an inspiration to many thanks to her positive attitude in the face of overwhelming adversity. Her updates on her condition on Facebook and on Twitter are always upbeat, and she showed a similar attitude in a brief statement to the press Sunday.
“I think to myself when I get down a little bit, it could be worse,” Laing said. “You can't really control what happens to you. But you can control how you react to it.”
The hockey community has rallied behind Laing since her injury, and over a thousand supporters attended Sunday’s game despite below-zero temperatures in Boston to help support Laing. The game featured multiple fundraising initiatives but also allowed fans to send more positivity Laing’s way, as volunteers hosted a #Cards4Denna station as well.