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Discover Gives Libertyville Family with Sibling Cancer Survivors an NHL Draft™ Experience of a Lifetime

June 22, 2017

Make-A-Wish Alum, Sister and Family Get VIP Treatment from the NHL at the 2017 NHL Draft™ presented by adidas

RIVERWOODS, Ill. – June 22, 2017  – Through its long-term relationships with the NHL and Make-A-Wish, Discover gave 16-year-old,  Kyle Junkunc, a cancer survivor and resident of Libertyville, Illinois, an experience of a lifetime at the 2017 NHL Draft ™ presented by adidas.

Kyle, along with his sister Ashley, also a cancer survivor, his brother Andrew, and his parents, Dawn and Erik, were given VIP access to the top prospects in the draft, during a media availability and boat tour at Navy Pier  Thursday afternoon. Kyle and his family were able to take photos and have hats signed by the players. In addition, Kyle will be a prospect for the day Friday taking his very own rookie photos in the official NHL photo studio where the NHL’s newest members pose for photos immediately after their selections. He and his family will then watch the NHL Draft live that evening at the United Center.

Kyle has been playing hockey since he was 3 years old and currently is a defenseman for the Libertyville IceCats high school team. In 2014, Kyle was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. After going through over two months of chemotherapy, Kyle was declared cancer-free in December 2014. However, the Junkunc family’s battle with cancer didn’t end with Kyle. Two years later, his sister Ashley was diagnosed with the same rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Ashley’s chemo treatments were more intense and some required long hospital stays. But fortunately, after nearly five months of chemotherapy, Ashley was declared cancer-free in August 2016.

Discover is an official partner of the NHL® and utilizes its relationship with the NHL to provide hockey fans nationwide with exclusive hockey-themed experiences across special NHL events, including the 2017 NHL Draft™ presented by adidas. Some of those experiences have been made possible through Discover’s relationship with Make-A-Wish, which includes more than $18 million donated by Discover cardmembers to Make-A-Wish as part of Discover’s Cashback Bonus® program.

“When presented with this VIP opportunity at the NHL Draft, we reached out to Make-A-Wish Illinois asking if there were any kids in their network who were big time hockey fans. Make-A-Wish immediately thought of Kyle and his family. Kyle and Ashley’s amazing story of perseverance and strength makes us appreciate even more being able to provide them with this NHL exclusive experience,” said Matt Towson, director of Community Affairs at Discover.    

“We really want to thank Discover, the NHL and Make-A-Wish for giving our family the opportunity to meet and hang with the NHL’s future stars and attend the NHL Draft,” said Dawn Junkunc, mother of Kyle and Ashley. “The last two years have been very challenging for our family to say the least, and we appreciate the support and love we’ve received from friends, family and the community throughout Kyle and Ashley’s cancer journey.”

NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.

About Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 28,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 35 minutes. It has granted more than 270,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,800 in 2015 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.

About the 2017 NHL Draft

The Chicago Blackhawks® will host the 2017 NHL Draft™ at United Center, June 23-24. NHL® club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while more than 15,000 fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are expected to attend. The 2017 event marks the first time the Blackhawks and the city of Chicago have hosted the NHL Draft. The NHL Draft festivities include the NHL Draft Fan Fest outside the United Center on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24 featuring interactive games, photo opportunities with Blackhawks players and alumni, music and a special appearance by the NHL Centennial Fan Arena. For more information, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/fanfest.

Contact:
Matthew Towson
Discover
224-405-5649
matthewtowson@discover.com