Father of late Oilers superfan confirms he’s battling rare cancer

The father of one of Edmonton's most beloved Oilers fans, who tragically lost his battle to cancer, reveals he's fighting his own cancer diagnosis.

In 2022 — Ben Stelter — a 6-year-old Oilers superfan battling brain cancer became beloved by the city after appearing regularly at Edmonton Oilers playoff games.

“So many people fell in love with Ben. But I think the biggest thing they forgot, was that he was fighting for his life the entire time, and didn’t let people see it,” said Ben’s father Mike Stelter, during Ben’s funeral.

Nearly a year after Ben tragically lost his battle with cancer, it’s now his father fighting the disease.

Mike Stelter revealed he is suffering from a rare form of cancer, diagnosed with a tumor on his spine.

CityNews spoke with Mike and Lea Stelter earlier this week as the Oilers Community Foundation celebrated $17 million donated to local charities — including a non-profit named after Ben — designed to give experiences and fund research for young cancer patients.


Mike Stelter revealed through social media he needs to travel to the U.S. for proton therapy to treat the tumor — a therapy that is not available in Canada.

A fundraising page for Mike’s treatment at the time of publication garnered over $60-thousand.

CityNews reached out to Alberta Health Services and Health Canada to find out why the treatment isn’t available in Canada. In an email Health Canada says proton therapy falls under Class 3 Medical License, meaning they are not available for sale or import according to Health Canada guidelines.

Health Canada adding before a medical device is authorized it is subject to assessment.

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