BOSTON (CBS) – It was a night of hope and hockey for cancer patients in Boston Wednesday. Former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference brought his giving spirit and the Stanley Cup to the Hope Lodge.

“I’m done with my chemo, I had 16 chemos I finished yesterday,” cancer patient Lauren Mannarino said smiling. “And I’m done with my radiation on Monday. For good.”

This was more than just taco night at the Hope Lodge, where a rotating cast of cancer patients from all over the country battle and bond.

Lauren Mannarino and Andrew Ference at Hope Lodge (WBZ-TV)

“We provide free lodging for cancer patients who need to come to Boston for their lifesaving treatment,” said Matt Blom of Hope Lodge.

When the bell is rung at the lodge, it means a resident’s treatments are done and they’ll soon be heading home.

Enter the NHL and its Hockey Fights Cancer program, offering a photo-op with the oldest trophy in professional sports as a sendoff, as Bob Desmarais bounces back from prostate cancer. “I’m very emotional when it comes to this place,” Desmarais said. “It’s awesome.”

Mannarino hopes her rare sinus cancer is gone forever. “This is just a blessing to be here,” Mannarino said.

Bob Desmarais takes a picture with the Stanley Cup at Hope Lodge in Boston (WBZ-TV)

But leaving folks who’ve become your adopted family during the most trying time of your life is hard.

“It’s magic,” said cancer patient Eugene Bisson. “I guess that’s the best word to describe this place.”

Touching hockey history certainly brings a smile, but the hope of beating cancer really has a nice ring to it.

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