Madeleine Ruff, the 11-year-old daughter of Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, is recovering from brain surgery, two days after doctors removed a quarter-sized tumor.
Madeleine had the surgery Tuesday in Buffalo Women and Children's Hospital. The mass was discovered at the hospital two weeks ago, after she began suffering dizziness and severe headaches.
In his first statements since telling The Buffalo News about Madeleine's condition March 11, an emotional but steadfast Ruff thanked the community for its support.
"My family and myself would just like to say a big thanks to, first of all, all our fans and all the people in Western New York that have shown tremendous support to my daughter's illness," Ruff said Wednesday night.
"I just would like to say thanks for the support and thanks for the prayers, and, as was released, we really expect her to have a full recovery."
Under the federal health privacy law that prohibits discussion of a patient's information, the Sabres had no comment on Madeleine's condition other than a news release that read, "Madeleine is resting comfortably and recovering from surgery, and everyone is looking forward to a speedy recovery."
Madeleine, along with twin brother Brian, is the youngest of Ruff's four children. The coach has missed one game and about five practices while accompanying his wife, Gaye, on doctor visits. Monday's game in Atlanta was the first Ruff had missed since being hired to coach the Sabres in 1997.
Ruff, who was also a Sabres player throughout the 1980s, has receiving an outpouring of support from fans. A sign in the corner of HSBC Arena reading "God Bless Madeleine" has been displayed since the announcement.
"It's something a lot of people have dealt with. Really, all we ask is that you say a prayer," Ruff said earlier this month. Earlier, Ruff said of Madeleine: "She's very positive about the whole thing. It's incredible. Every child you have is different. They deal with things differently. She's a special child."