BUFFALO, NY (WIVB.com) - Foligno is a well-known name in the hockey world. Mike Foligno is a former Sabre and current assistant NHL coach. Nick and Marcus Foligno both play in the NHL for Columbus and Buffalo respectively. Janis, their mother, also contributed to their hockey genes. She was the niece of hall-of-fame goalie Eddie Giacomin. While tough athletes are rampant in the Foligno family, Janis Foligno proved to her family that she was the toughest of them all during her long-fought battle against breast cancer.
The Foligno family grew closer throughout Janis’s fight, attempting to cherish their time with her. Shortly before she passed away, Janis witnessed the Sabres draft Marcus in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft. However, after Janis’s death Marcus had moments where he wanted to quit hockey. Both his father and brother convinced him that quitting would upset his mother. Instead, hockey became an outlet for him. In the years after his mother’s death, he began to build a name for himself, getting called up by the Sabres for the first time in December 2011.
Janis Foligno never gave up, always staying positive and doing everything in her power to heal. Marcus adopted his mother’s fighting spirit on the ice, providing his game with a bit of an edge. Marcus may play with the renowned Foligno name on his back but even more importantly he plays with the perseverant Foligno spirit in his heart.