Heartbreak for family as teen diagnosed as an Avalanche fan

By Wally Barnes

 Robert Hickey and his parents are currently coming to grips with his diagnosis as an Avs fan.

Robert Hickey and his parents are currently coming to grips with his diagnosis as an Avs fan.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Two local parents have been rocked by the tragic news that their teenage son has been diagnosed as a Colorado Avalanche fan.

Doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical Center informed Gary and Linda Hickey on Saturday that their sad, brooding 14-year-old was suffering the debilitating affliction.

"We're devastated," Gary said in a statement this afternoon. "We know that Robert hasn't been right for a long time, but nothing could ever prepare us for this."

"As his parents, we've always said that we'll do whatever we can for our son, but there are certain things that are harder than others."

The Hickeys say that the boy has recently been exhibiting unusual behaviour commonly found in Avalanche fans, such as cutting short any conversations about the NHL by placing his hands over his ears and yelling "NONONONO".

"In hockey-mad Minnesota, that sort of behaviour tends to attract attention and isolate you from friends," Linda said.

Robert was reportedly found on numerous occasions trying re-work the rabbit ears on the family TV, attempting to get coverage of the Altitude TV station.

After receiving the diagnosis, both parents searched their son's room and found SOS letters addressed to the "Heroes of 2001".

"It's going to be a long and painful road to acceptance for the family," Dr. Robert McCray told The Elbow.

"Unfortunately there is no known cure at this stage. It's something that this young man and his family will have to come to grips with in their own time."

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