CHARLESTON, S.C. – Christian Oman is the biggest Stingrays’ fan in the Lowcountry but the 16-year-old is also facing the biggest challenge of his young life, brain cancer.
Christian was diagnosed with medulloblastoma ten years ago. The cancer took his sight but not his spirit. Christian loves hockey.
“If you always hear pounding on the glass, that’s me,” said Christian.
The teenager doesn’t allow his blindness to interfere with his favorite team.
He has great admiration for the players, but it’s the professional hockey players who look up to the kid who’s much shorter than them.
“There’s up and downs throughout the season,” says defenseman Wade Epp. “But to see what he’s going through, smiling and enjoying everyday, it’s really nice to see.”
The cancer has returned and this time, doctors don’t expect Christian to see his 18th birthday.
“It’s devastating news but the one highlight in his life is the South Carolina Stingrays hockey team,” says Susan Oman, Christian’s mother. “It’s the one thing he has to look forward to.”
The Oman’s have had season tickets for years so the family has developed a relationship with the organization. Players have visited Christian in the hospital.
But the Stingrays have taken the relationship a step further, signing Christian to a contract and making him an official member of the team.
“He’s happy to be here,” says team president, Rob Concannon. “And we’re just happy to shine a bright light in his life.”