In May 2012, I wrote a story about long-time Los Angeles Kings fan Steven Raboin and his late son Tanner for the Toronto Standard. Tanner, who had passed away the previous spring after a long battle with Chronic Granulomatous Disease.
Tanner was just 19 when he succumbed to CGB but during his brief life, he touched many lives, and even today, still has an impact on those that were close to him in addition to others, like myself, who may not have had the privilege of meeting him but have been so immersed by his legacy, that they wish they did have the chance to come into contact with the young Raboin.
Earlier this week, Steven and I decided to catch up, so I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
Approximately how much money has been raised for Be the Match in the past couple of years?
We’re at the $10.000 raised, and have added over 500 people into the registry.
Describe the progression in awareness not only for Be the Match but for CGD.
The progression has been immense with the inception of Social Media. Having social media pages exclusive to the cause, has made it much easier to reach a specific demographic. There were only a few places where we could share, or get info regrading CGD just a few years ago. Now, there are countless groups, etc, where you can access people/info regarding CGD.
How is the popularity of the Tannerheads coming along?
It has tapered off, as we’ve hit the local fan base pretty hard. We continue to push, although we do not preach, as we feel there is a fine line. We load our pockets, and wear our Tannerhead lanyards to every game, and when the opportunity arises, we hand off his angelic face with the intent to seal the deal. Remember, with the progression of the Tannerhead (back printing) it’s helped in abreviating our encounters, more direct, and impactful.
How was the turnout at this year’s Frozen Fury? Were there many Tannerheads?
Tannerheads were there, and we distributed about 100 of them. Although, they’ve not been as prevalent as the 2010 FF when he was chronically ill, and the 2011 FF following his passing. Prior to such an event, we remind the groups via Tannerhead Nation that we will be present.
How are you and wife (and the rest of your family) coping? Have you done anything special for Tanner after LA’s Cup win in 2012 and/or 2014?
Advocacy helps us cope immensely. Diane is struggling, but works hard behind the scene’s supporting our cause (BTM). After the 2012 Cup, my brothers Tim and Scott organized a movement and donations to afford an SC Champ Star at Staples. It was very successful, and we’re happy to say, Tanner has his star. We christened Tanner’s star with a party ESPN Zone.
It has been three-and-a-half years since Tanner’s passing, but his legacy has not wavered in the slightest. From the Tannerheads to his SC Champ Star, from the hundreds of friends he made and the thousands of memories he helped to create, Tanner Raboin is and forever will be synonymous with the Los Angeles Kings and their loyal fanbase, and it certainly speaks volumes the enormous impact he had on everyone he met in his short time here with us.
For more information on CGD, Be The Match and how you can help, visit www.tannerhead.com today. There, you will also find Tanner’s story, Friends of Tanner and even updates on when and where the Raboins will be making an appearance.
Lastly, before we wrapped up our talk – and after we laughed about missing each other at the Kings’ Stadium Series game this past January – Steven wanted to say one last thing:
“Diane and I are forever grateful for all the support we’ve received since Tanner’s passing. It’s really important to have a strong support group in the face of tragedy, and if it weren’t for the support of the Kings, friends and family, we’d be lost. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”