NHL All-Star Theo Fleury Shares Personal story to Support Greenwich Boy with Brain Disease

Theo Fleury and Sam Buck share a laugh together at the event at The Ridgefield Playhouse. contriubted photo

Former NHL All-Star Theo Fleury enthralled visitors as the headlining motivational speaker to help raise money for medical research of an extremely rare brain disease during a recent visit to the Ridgefield Playhouse on Rare Disease Day.

Fleury spoke about his struggles with addiction and mental health associated with physical abuse at the hands of a former youth hockey coach in Canada. Fleury went on to win a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames and became a gold medalist in the Winter Olympics. He played part of his career with the New York Rangers.

Fleury spoke of how he overcame his obstacles and is now inspiring others with his #metoo conversations.

Jim Axelrod of CBS News emceed the event and conducted the poignant onstage interview with Fleury.

The show also included inspiring speeches by fellow former NHL icons Colton Orr and Tom Laidlaw. Those in attendance had the chance to meet all three players following the show.

The event was organized by Bob DiTullio, Jr., Chief Business Development Officer of CULTEC, Inc. Proceeds from the event benefitted Vanishing White Matter Families Foundation (VWMFF) for medical research and to support the families with patients of the disease. Sam Buck, an 8-year-old Greenwich boy, has endured a six-year battle with the rare terminal brain disease that liquefies the white matter that protects the brain causing speech delays and effects motor function. There are only approximately 250 known cases worldwide and funding for research is primarily by the patients’ family, friends and fundraising events.

“Theo, Colton and Tom all shared some raw personal messages and all of the people who attended the event enjoyed it,’’ DiTullio said. “We were happy that so many people came out to support Sam and the fight against Vanishing White Matter Disease. The hockey community is like a tight-knit family. We’re so grateful for the support.”

Donations to VWMFF may be made online at www.vwmff.org/donate.

CULTEC prides itself on being an R&D-based manufacturer and places a strong emphasis on product development. In 1986, CULTEC introduced its Contactor and Recharger septic and stormwater chambers to the industry and helped to begin a revolution towards the usage of plastic construction products. As the creator of the plastic chamber, CULTEC has been awarded the title of “The Founder of Plastic Chamber Technology”.

CULTEC’s worldwide presence includes chamber installations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. Its products are manufactured at ISO 9001:2015 facilities for strict quality control. Select profiles meet the performance requirements of IAPMO, ASTM and AASHTO (Section 12.12) LRFD standards, as well as achieve third-party certification to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B184 standard for Polymeric Subsurface Stormwater Management Structures. In addition, CULTEC chambers are constructed of impact-modified and long-term creep resistant polymers, ensuring that the chambers achieve a minimum 50-year service life. CULTEC’s corporate headquarters is in Brookfield, Connecticut. Learn more at www.cultec.com.

Former NHL player Theo Fleury (pink blazer) spoke at an event at The Ridgefield Playhouse as part of a fundraiser for Sam Buck (center) and Vanishing White Matter disease. Fleury and Buck are shown with Nick Buck (left) and Bob DiTullio, Jr.

Former NHL player Theo Fleury (pink blazer) spoke at an event at The Ridgefield Playhouse as part of a fundraiser for Sam Buck (center) and Vanishing White Matter disease. Fleury and Buck are shown with Nick Buck (left) and Bob DiTullio, Jr. contributed photo

Bob DiTullio, Jr., left; Colton Orr (navy blazer), Racquel DiTullio, Nick Buck (grey blazer) , Allison Buck, Gina Carolan, Tom Laidlaw, Lisa Lynch, James Buck, Sam Buck, center, Imogen Buck, Theo Fleury (pink blazer).

Bob DiTullio, Jr., left; Colton Orr (navy blazer), Racquel DiTullio, Nick Buck (grey blazer) , Allison Buck, Gina Carolan, Tom Laidlaw, Lisa Lynch, James Buck, Sam Buck, center, Imogen Buck, Theo Fleury (pink blazer). Contributed photo