On February 25th, Reilly’s Rock Stars will host a fundraiser with all proceeds to benefit the Boomer Esiason Foundation
Reilly Hoagland is a Toms River Blackhawks player on the hockey club’s Squirt Red team. While Reilly battles on the ice playing ice hockey with his team, what most people are not aware of is his battle off the ice against Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Along with his parents, Sean and Laurie Hoagland, Reilly fights the disease with a team his family created called “Reilly’s Rock Stars” to help raise money for charitable organizations that help to fight CF. Below is a letter from his parents describing Reilly’s journey.
Reilly Hoagland from Toms River, New Jersey was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when he was four years old. A progressive genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe overtime. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick building of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In order to stay healthy, daily treatments must be done. His treatments include wearing an airway clearance vest that “shakes” him to help break up the mucus in his body, inhaled medications and the use of a nebulizer.
Reilly’s passion for hockey and, love for the New Jersey DEVILS started at an early age. His knowledge of the game…on and off the ice is impressive. He was known to have daily conversations with his Kindergarten bus driver, Bob. Bob is a New York Ranger fan… so we know how those discussions went.
In his spare time, Reilly enjoys attending the games of the New Jersey DEVILS, making the Prudential Center his second home. Thanks to his grandfather, Frank Chernesky, retired from the United States Air Force and a retired Toms River Police Officer, Reilly attends several DEVILS games throughout the season with the Vet Tix program. A very supportive program who honors active and retired military personnel.
A very active lifestyle has helped Reilly maintain a high level of health. Exercise is extremely important for people with CF. So far this year, he has perfect attendance in school and handles the daily agenda of treatments, school and sports.
In 2012, we created a team called Reilly’s Rock Stars. We participate in various events such as The Great Strides Walk in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey every May, Polar Bear Plunge in Breezy Point, New York and the Boomer Esiason, Run to Breathe in Central Park, New York. Reilly has participated in all these events since he was diagnosed.
For the past three years, Reilly has completed the four mile run in Central Park, New York for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, Run to Breathe. He was interviewed and aired on the YES Network and the New York Road Runners Club for being one of only a handful of CF participants as well as the youngest. Reilly enjoys talking with Boomer Esiason (father of CF Gunnar Esiason) each year at the race and speaking with Jerry Cahill, a true WARRIOR battling CF.
Through The Boomer Esiason Foundation and the New York Islanders, Reilly attended a New York Islanders game as a personal guest of Matt Martin (currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs) and Casey Cszikas. He met with them after the game, where they presented him with a signed stick.
Each summer Reilly enjoys surfing with the Mauli Ola Foundation. The foundation is made up of professional surfers, from Hawaii and California that educate kids about the healing benefits of the ocean through surfing. Salt water acts as a natural saline treatment to help break up the mucus in the lungs. Reilly has made friendships with surfers such as surfing legend, Sunny Garcia, Teddy Navarro, Hans Hagen and his favorite, CJ Kanuha.
Reilly enjoys participating in other sports as well. He is currently involved with indoor soccer and flag football in the spring; however, his love and dedication has been ice hockey.
For the past three years, Reilly has been skating for the Toms River Blackhawks and is currently coached by three dedicated men, John Costello, Bill Vanesko and Bob Pirello at the Squirt level. Their patience and support of Reilly on and off the ice is greatly appreciated. These coaches educate Reilly on the importance of never giving up and always work harder than the last practice and game. Reilly is a soon to be ten years old, self-motivated, kind and a respectful person and athlete. A kid who we are truly proud of and enjoy every moment of the day with him. When playing ice hockey, Reilly has the chance to forget about his treatments and medications and just enjoy being a hockey player.
Thanks to the Toms River Blackhawks, he has developed the skills necessary to succeed on the ice, strong friendships and has given him an understanding of a “hockey family.”
Sean and Laurie Hoagland
Reilly’s Rock Stars will be hosting a Jersey Shore Paint Party fundraiser on Saturday, February 25th with all proceeds to benefit the Boomer Esiason Foundation (https://www.esiason.org/).
The event will be held at the Silverton Fire House (15 Kettle Creek Rd, Toms River, NJ 08753).
For more information and to purchase tickets to the event, visit Reilly’s Rock Stars Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/ReillysRockStarsFightingCysticFibrosis/), or visit their Jersey Shore Paint Party event website: http://www.jerseyshorepaintparty.com/cyster-fibrosis-fundraise-feb.htm
For more information on the CF Foundations that Reilly’s Rocks Stars fights for, visit their respective websites.
Boomer Esiason Foundation (https://www.esiason.org/)
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (http://fightcf.cff.org)
Mauli Ola Foundation (http://www.mauliola.org/)