UMass Boston

UMass Boston Men’s Hockey Players To Rollerblade Across The Country For Charity

07/08/2020| Office of Communications

UMass Boston men's hockey freshmen Jake Adkins (Centennial, Colo.) and Andy Walker (Mason, Mich.) have been making the most of their time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Jake Adkins and Andy Walker
Jake Adkins and Andy Walker are "Men in Blades."

“ We were sitting around, not knowing what to do. Practice was off. Gyms were closed. So, we bought rollerblades. ”

The pair, who have dubbed themselves the "Men In Blades," have planned a massive trip to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Starting on Monday, July 13, the Men In Blades are planning on rollerblading from their on-campus apartment at UMass Boston all the way to Walker's hometown in Mason, Michigan— approximately 875 miles. Their goal is to cover close to 100 miles a day, with the aim to reach Michigan in 10 days.

Both athletes have been affected by cancer up close.

Adkins' mother Ali was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in spring 2014. She was in and out of the hospital for a year and was declared in remission in 2015.

"It's always something that's going to hang heavy on me. It was crazy seeing my mom with no hair and trying on wigs with her. It was humbling… I'm so glad that she's still with me," Adkins said.

Then this summer his best friend's mother passed from breast cancer, "so, she is extra motivation for our trip… There's all this craziness in the world, yet there's still people battling cancer. We want to bring a positive light in the darkness."

Walker's grandfather passed away from cancer when he was young, and he said the American Cancer Society was an easy choice of charity to support.

"We were sitting around, not knowing what to do. Practice was off. Gyms were closed. So, we bought rollerblades," said Walker. "Our hardship on the trip will be a lot less than what people with cancer have gone through… Hopefully, this will help globally."

To learn more about the Men In Blades, learn how you can donate and learn more about their journey check out the following links: 
You can also check out media coverage of the Men In Blades here: 
WLIX News Story (Michigan TV Station) 
WLNS News Story (Michigan TV Station)