When the Capitals embarked on their 2018 playoff run that culminated in a Stanley Cup title, NBC Sports Washington color commentator Craig Laughlin was there for all of it. The former Capitals winger had a streak nearly three-decades-long of being in the booth for every game and he wasn’t about to let that come to an end with the team on the cusp of history.
However, less than two weeks before those playoffs began, Laughlin and his family received a phone call that would change their lives forever. Craig’s wife Linda had been diagnosed with stage 2 uterine serous carcinoma, a rare form of endometrial cancer that affects about 6,000 women in the U.S. each year.
Over the next eight months, Linda underwent six rounds of chemotherapy, 28 radiation treatments and a total hysterectomy. It wasn’t until Nov. 9, 2018, when the Laughlins finally went public with the news of Linda’s condition. The Capitals invited her to do the ceremonial puck drop on Hockey Fights Cancer night, an initiative that sparked the idea for the Laughlins to start their own foundation.
“It started with Hockey Fights Cancer and the NHL initiative and that’s when the lightbulb went on,” Craig said. “We said, ‘The Laughlin family as a group has to do more.’ And we started it and we’re gonna continue to push forward to raise important funds. The smallest thing makes the biggest impact. It doesn’t matter how much money, how much help.”
The Laughlin Family Foundation was founded in February 2019 with the goal of raising awareness for rare forms of cancer that don’t have the same resources and funding directed toward finding treatments and cures as other more common forms. While Linda’s specific type of cancer affects 6,000 women in the U.S. per year, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with various rare forms that have limited treatment options.
Now cancer-free, Linda has dedicated herself to the foundation and its cause. Craig has continued to work in the booth for NBC Sports Washington while attending and promoting various events with the foundation to raise donations and spread awareness.
“Even with cancer, she has been the backbone of our family fighting each and every day,” Craig said.
To learn how you can get involved with the Laughlin Family Foundation, please visit thelaughlinfamilyfoundation.org.