By David Wade

DUDLEY (CBS) – Dante Sousa is a young hockey goalie from Dudley with a special mission to fight cancer as part of a fundraiser called October Saves. He plays for the Worcester Jr. Railers, and his inspiration is always with him.

When he’s in goal, 11-year-old Dante is a shot saving machine and this month, those saves mean money to fight cancer. “I’m doing it because I lost my aunt to cancer last year,” he says. His aunt, Maria Catino, was just 51.

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Dante Sousa (WBZ-TV)

“She was like the world to me. She was so nice to me, she loved me. When I was first born, she came right to the hospital to see me and gave me a blanket, a little blanket, and I still sleep with it to this day,” he says.

When his aunt was so sick, Dante wanted to do something to help, and learned about October Saves. “October Saves is basically a help for cancer. People donate to you and they can pledge money per save, or they can make a flat donation,” Dante explains.

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Last year Dante raised about $1000. This year he’s already up to $2500 in pledges, and 16 other goalies from the Worcester Jr. Railers have joined the effort. “I think they saw that I was doing it, and they wanted to help,” Dante says.

Dante Sousa (WBZ-TV)

“It does help him with his grief because he’s able to get out on the ice and know that every save he makes is going to go towards cancer research,” says Tiffany Sousa, Dante’s mother.

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Dante wants nothing less than a cure. “I’m a firm believer that it will happen,” he says.

David Wade