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'I’m going to be here to see it': Lightning fan in hospice looks forward to another cup

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Posted at 6:26 AM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 15:55:36-04

CLEARWATER, Fla.  — It seems like all of Tampa Bay is skating right alongside the Lightning as they attempt to win a third straight Stanley Cup. However, there's one particular fan living in Clearwater who is truly savoring every goal.

Listening to Lighting hockey on the radio helps drown out the oxygen tanks keeping Alison Barksdale alive.

“This whole house goes crazy but the dog really goes crazy when they score,” said Barksdale.

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She is living with stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer and has been under the care of Jennifer Barnes and Suncoast Hospice for the past few months.

“You always need something to look forward to even when your outlook is bleak,” said Barnes, a Psychosocial Team Leader.

Barksdale said every time the Lighting move forward so does she.

“Anything that’s positive right now is good for me,” said Barksdale.

Barksdale’s appreciation for the team reached a whole new level during the playoffs when the Lightning sent her an autographed jersey of her favorite player, Victor Hedman.

“So far this is the best gift ever,” said Barksdale.

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It was Barnes and Suncoast Hospice that reached out to the team and told them about their most dedicated fan.

“To be able to give her something that made her day, it made her giggle, she was a little teary-eyed, she was just like a little child at Christmas,” said Barnes.

Barksdale said she plans to wear the jersey every game until the team hoists the cup.

“If the Lightning win another cup I’m going to be here to see it,” said Barksdale.