TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Lightning teamed up with Moffitt Cancer Center to honor those waging in the war against cancer Monday for the annual “Hockey Fights Cancer” night.
One of the night’s honorees, SFC. Richard Stayskal is a solider on multiple fronts. He’s fighting advanced lung cancer, but he’s also fighting to reform federal law.
8 On Your Side has followed the Green Beret and decorated former Marine sniper in his battle to overturn the Feres Doctrine. The Feres Doctrine is federal law that bars active duty troops from suing military doctors for malpractice.
Stayskal was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer more than two years ago, after Army doctors previously failed to notify him about a spot on his lung.
Legally, there was nothing he could do.
“It’s been a tough road,” Stayskal said Monday, after he was honored by the Lightning during the second period and presented with a custom jersey. “Having better accountability for healthcare for the military, to me, that’s a big thing.”
Much like the Lightning won at home Monday, Stayskal is looking for a win next month in Congress. His reform was adopted into the National Defense Authorization Act, meaning Congress will vote on amending the Feres Doctrine when it votes to pass the National Defense Authorization Act next month.
There was more good news for Stayskal Monday, as he came to Amalie straight from treatment at Moffitt. He learned his cancer is responding surprisingly well to treatment.
“It’s been a great day all around,” Stayskal said. “Between good news with the NDAA, good news at the hospital, and great news here at this hockey game, how much better of a day can you get?”
For Stayskal, it’s a hat trick.
The House of Representatives is set to vote on the NDAA the first week of December. The Senate will then vote the following week. If all goes accordingly and the NDAA is passed, it should be on the president’s desk by Christmas.