ROCKVILLE, Md. — The local figure skating community is rallying behind a little boy who is fighting for his life.
Today those skaters, who are among the best figure skaters in the world, performed in a 'Skate Your Heart Out' fundraiser at the Rockville Ice Arena Saturday to support 10-year-old Niklas Shalin and his family as he battles Stage 4 Rhabdyosarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissue.
Niklas is the son of Katrina and Vitaly Shalin-- both area figure skating coaches. Skater Lorraine McNamara said the boy’s plight has touched everyone in the small, but tight-knit skating community.
“We want to show him, that with every step we take, he’s with us. The more people we have showing their support, the more strength we’re able to give him.” McNamara said.
Some of the skaters at Saturday’s performance fundraiser will go on to compete for top titles in the U.S. and the world. McNamara said the skaters wanted to show their solidarity with Shalin, who is an avid dancer who especially loves hip-hop. “While what we do is a little different on the ice, it still shows our love of moving our body and expressing ourself the same way that he does.” McNamara said.
Figure skating coach Elena Novak, with the Wheaton Ice Skating Academy, said area skaters want to help the Shalin family as much as possible through such a difficult time.
“We’re just all really trying to help because we just really care about this family a lot, all the skating community in Virginia and Maryland—and I’m sure other states too. I think we can really achieve a lot if we gather everybody together.”
Saturday’s performance raised nearly 3 thousand dollars- but donations are still coming in through the WISA website.