Cody Smuk knows he’ll need support if he wants to kick cancer.

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies hockey player, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer three weeks ago, recently started an online fundraising campaign with the help of his girlfriend to cover some of his treatment costs. Their goal was to raise $2,000.

“I had to put my hand out for help. I mean that’s just the way it goes when you’re in this predicament,” Smuk said. “You can’t go at it alone because going at it alone is the worst thing that you can do.”

The couple has far surpassed their goal, raising over $20,000 so far, just three days into the campaign.

“This will give him less stress. I don’t want him to stress about anything else,” said Stephanie Vause, Smuk’s girlfriend. “He would have been working this summer for his dad for construction and he can’t do that, so this really helps.”

Smuk went through his first treatment of chemotherapy on Monday for a tumour that is present in his lungs.

The diagnosis came just four days after he played a hockey game.

“It caught me a little off guard because if I had cancer, I thought I’d feel a lot worse than what I did,” he said.

Vause said Smuk had been complaining about a pain in his sides for a few weeks, but the pair just thought it was a hockey injury.

The couple decided to visit the hospital after Smuk had a coughing fit.

“He had a cough attack and spit up a bit,” Vause said. “He had fear in his eyes, so we took him in.”

Smuk is thankful for the support he’s received so far, and although his treatment is expected to be quite expensive, he is requesting that half the money raised goes toward a cancer-research charity.

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