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Ferraro's new goal: help wife
Thursday, November 29, 2001
By JENN MENENDEZ, Portland Press Herald Writer                                 

For several weeks, Chris Ferraro has skated sporadically with the Washington Capitals, his days and hours consumed by something far more important than hockey. 

Ferraro's wife, Jennifer, 29, has been fighting an unspecified cancer in a Washington-area hospital since late October, undergoing continual treatment and evaluation - and getting constant support from Chris. 

Chris' twin brother, Peter, traveled to Washington this week to spend time with the couple. Peter said Tuesday his brother and sister-in-law are in good spirits, and he's personally moved by their resolve. 

No date has been set for Chris' full-time return to hockey.  

"It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen in my life," Peter said. "My brother is a perfectionist. And his love for this girl is driving him to do the things that he's doing. 

"He's basically performing a tireless act day in and day out. And it's incredible. It's more than commendable." 

Chris, 28, and Jennifer married this past summer. 

Peter signed Aug. 1 with the Capitals and several weeks later the club snagged Chris from the New Jersey Devils' organization, reuniting the twins for the first time since a brief stint on the Providence Bruins in 1999. 

At the start of the season the brothers hoped to prove their dominance in the American Hockey League with the Portland Pirates and earn promotions to Washington. 

Chris was recalled early in the season and was playing well with the Capitals. Shortly after the recall, Jennifer began treatment and Chris took a leave from the team. 

During this trying time for his brother, Peter has earned nearly a point per game for the Pirates, a remarkable feat according to his coach. 

"He doesn't have his brother and sister-in-law. They're going through something and he's not with them," Pirates Coach Glen Hanlon said. 

"When it comes time to play the game, Peter has managed to get on with playing. He's a very dedicated person. He has a positive frame of mind." 

The family relished time together this week, said Peter, who flew down following a weekend of games with Portland. 

"My trip down here was basically to get together with family and to enjoy a little time together," Peter said. "It's like any other patient. It takes time. 

"I'm satisfied up until this point. I'm happy and lucky I've been given the opportunity to get down here." 

The Capitals have kept Chris, who preferred not to comment, on their active NHL roster. The organization has been highly supportive, said Peter, and the entire family is grateful. 

"I can't say enough how everyone's been throughout this process," Peter said. 

Portland teammates also have offered support.  

"Just to know that obviously we care and if he wants to talk to anybody, he can," Pirates goalie Corey Hirsch said. "I know both Chris and Pete. They're two very strong personalities. They're good people, you know." 

For now Jennifer and Chris are taking life one day at a time. 

"Jen and Chris are doing very well, considering," said Peter. "She's on a frequent basis of very good health care. That's it." 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at: 

Copyright  2001 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc. 

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