— Alex Pietrangelo (@apetro_27) October 20, 2014
According to Pietrangelo’s Twitter account (@apetro_27), Ellie was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor in August. A Wilms’ tumor is a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children, according to mayoclinic.org.
The photo shows a smiling Ellie, who appears to be losing her hair from cancer treatments, holding clippers with Pietrangelo's hair half cut off. The after photo shows Pietrangelo’s hair all gone, with the words, “My beautiful niece Ellie game me a new look today! #standuptocancer”
The NHL’s annual Hockey Fights Cancer initiative takes place Oct. 20 through Nov. 17. Since December 1998, the league and players association have raised more than $12.8 million for cancer research, children’s hospitals and local cancer organizations, according to NHL.com.