MADISON (WKOW) -- At the tender age of 19, Capitols forward Marcel Godbout already has seen as much Midwest travel as any teenage hockey player in America. Journeys have taken him from his home state and the storied Belle Tire youth hockey program in Michigan, to world-renowned Shattuck St. Mary’s, the one-time stomping grounds of Minnesota Wild star Zach Parise.
From there, Godbout’s ventures took him to the USHL, where he has accumulated experience in the form of 162 games in four different cities since 2013, which included a captaincy with the Chicago Steel to start this season.
On a trek where, much like his game, it seems like Godbout has not stopped moving, there is one common thread that never leaves his side.
Godbout was never far removed from his grandmother, Suzanne Adamchick. Until age nine, Marcel’s grandparents were a mainstay by his side at his childhood home, and his grandmother was never far from his hockey life.
“She was a huge part of my life,” Godbout fondly recalls. “Whenever my mom would be out working, I’d always be with (my grandmother). She was a huge fan of mine, and the (Detroit) Red Wings, too. She loved hockey.”
As Marcel’s hockey career continued to blossom, the support system was never far behind, and it was noticeable from an early age.
“There’s some pictures of me with her; she would sit in this chair and we would watch hockey together,” said Godbout with a smile. “I’d fall asleep on her lap and she couldn’t get up, so she had to wait for someone else to come home to get up to take me off of her.”
However, come 2008, everything changed, as Adamchick was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Just 12 years old at the time, Godbout was quickly thrust into one of life’s unfortunate certainties.
“Obviously, it was hard to deal with at first,” he said.
As Adamchick underwent chemotherapy and treatments, though, she was never far from her grandson’s line of sight.
“She was at every game of mine; even when she was battling, she would make it when she could. It was great to see her out there enjoying herself.”
Sadly for the Godbout-Adamchick family, the story would not feature a survival tale. After a two-year battle, Adamchick passed away on March 15, 2010 at age 63.
Despite losing his grandmother before embarking on his USHL career, Godbout carries positive memories of her final months.
“She was strong through it the whole time,” Godbout remembers. “Near the end, when she got done with the chemotherapy, she said ‘I want to enjoy the last part of my life.’ It made (our family) happy to see her happy.”
Godbout, quite literally, carries his grandmother’s memory with him every day. A back tattoo of a cross- wrapped by the word “Cancer” and his grandmother’s name- is a tribute to one of his biggest fans.
As if having her memory adorned on his body was not tribute enough, Godbout also never bounces from one place to the other on his cell phone without glancing at Adamchick’s headstone.
For Godbout, Cross Check Cancer night is just another night to remember those, like his grandmother, who endured the fight.
“Having dealt with cancer, it’s a nice appreciation night to recognize those who passed, and the survivors for the battles they went through,” said Godbout. “It’s a great way to honor them.”
Capitols fans are encouraged to donate to the Cross Check Cancer cause, in conjunction with the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Individual tickets will be sold for $12, with $2 on each ticket being donated back to the Carbone Center for cancer research.
Packages for the evening are also available, ranging from $50 to $250, which include main concourse tickets, Chuck-A-Pucks for the intermission contest, fan experiences, and more. Up to 26% of each package purchase will be donated to UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Join the Capitols in Cross Checking Cancer by calling (608) 257-CAPS (2277) or by clicking here.