Jeremy Gardiner’s Front Row Experience: Oilers Game
Illness: Testicular Cancer
This is Jeremy.
Husband to Amanda. Father to five amazing kiddos. Loyal friend, faithful leader, and incredible encourager to all around him.
During the summer of 2017, Jeremy began having worrisome health problems—strong abdominal pain, back pain, and breathing problems. After numerous tests, Jeremy received the unthinkable news: Not only did he have multiple blood clots in his lungs (which were causing massive stress on his heart) but Jeremy also learned that a grapefruit sized tumor in his stomach was responsible for the clots—and it was cancerous.
Over the next many months, life was very intense for the Gardiner family
- Jeremy spent the first few weeks in hospital and then went for regular chemotherapy treatments for 3 months.
- He had a filter surgically put in near my heart to catch the blood clots and had to have twice-daily injected blood thinners. (A few months later it decreased to a single needle each day (and ultimately shifted to a pill).
- He lost the ability to walk twice during the 7-month period.
- In the midst of all this on August 26th, Jeremy’s 5th child (a son), Leonard Ravenhill Gardiner, was born. He was able to be with his wife in the hospital for the delivery
- He spent close to 2 full months in bed.
- He had major abdominal surgery to take out the tumor and affected lymph nodes. The Inferior Vena Cava blood vessel couldn’t be salvaged and was removed.
In the midst of all this, friends and family share that Jeremy remained remarkably positive and hopeful. Both he and his wife leaned heavily on their faith and their church community surrounded them with support during this difficult time.
Fast forward to April 07, 2018, the day of Jeremy’s Front Row reveal! Over dinner with his family, Jeremy opened and read his reveal letter with a twinkle in his eye. As a serious hockey fan, he was thrilled to learn he’d watching the Oilers play the Canucks! Despite being in on the surprise, Amanda was excited to learn all of the specifics of their event!
On the big day, Jeremy and Amanda were happy to have the chance to watch warm ups and were even able to bring their 3 oldest kids along. The kids made signs and enjoyed this fun moment with mom and dad. The family headed back home with anticipation.
Later that day, the limo pulled up and the evening kicked off with a very fun start. While Jeremy and Amanda looked forward to a fun night away (just the two of them!), they first piled into the limo with their kids and mothers to make SEVERAL trips around the block. In true kid fashion, the children LOVED riding in the limo and getting loads of candy. Moment made!
After that, it was off to the restaurant for Jeremy and Amanda. We enjoyed an amazing meal at Joey’s Bell Tower. The dinner was even more special with a kitchen tour, and this sweet couple agreed that they’d “never had steak that good!”
Next up: Game time! It was a quick walk across the street to get to the arena. The street felt fully alive as we made our way through the crowd to the game. The seats were front and center—right beside the penalty box! Jeremy was actually able to snap a few selfies with players on the other side. Event Director Wilson Wong shared, “You couldn’t get any closer!”
Wilson’s friend Ashley worked at the arena and had stopped by earlier to say hi. Little did they know, she had a surprise in store for Jeremy and Amanda. At halftime, a ref came over to where we were sitting, knocked on the window and showed us the 1st period game puck (that still had snow on it) and threw it over to Jeremy. Amanda nearly cried and it made the game even more memorable.
Things only went up from there with an AMAZING game by the Oilers! Excitement filled the arena as it was also the last game for the Sedin brothers (of the Canucks). And just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better, the game went into overtime! The entire arena was standing to watch the final minutes and shootout—and the Oilers won 3-2!
Spending this night together was so special for Jeremy and Amanda who rarely have the opportunity to get out just the two of them—with the fullness of family life and Jeremy’s illness—and it was all the more meaningful considering all they have been through over the past year.
We are in awe of the positivity and hopeful hearts of this inspiring couple! What an unforgettable day.
I feel blessed to have met you and your family. I’m grateful that I shared many front row moments with everyone. I felt like I was already a part of the squad the moment I walked through the doors. I think we hit the trifecta of the perfect night: good food, good fun, and great company! Plus, we couldn’t ask for a more perfect Oilers game. We saw the Sedin Brothers retire and the craziest overtime where the Oilers won in the end. Thank you for being so inviting and sharing your Front Row experience with me.