Photo credit: Alex Brandon
The day before training camp opened, Andi Lambert, the wife of Washington assistant coach Lane Lambert, died at the age of 45. She had spent the last 17 years battling a rare form of breast cancer. On Saturday, the entire Capitals team, along with members of the Nashville Predators, who Lambert previously coached for alongside Barry Trotz, went up to Ohio attend the funeral outside of Cleveland.
“I know it meant a lot for him for us to be there and support him and to remember Andi the way we all know her and love her,” Trotz said Sunday. “It just tells you the class of the people in this business.”
Lane and Andi met in November, 1998, according to a 2011 article by Bryan Mullen of the Predators. They hit it off. Andi, though, had been diagnosed with recurrent malignant phyllodes at the beginning of year. Just 26-years-old, Andi would end up needing surgeries every six to 15 months. Mullen writes:
“I thought, ‘Is he going to stick around?’ ” Andi recalled.
So she just said it.
“By the way, I have breast cancer,” she told him with a smile. “There’s your out. You can choose to call me or not.”
Not only did Lane Lambert call, he became the strongest shoulder she could ever wish for.
Just three months after dating, he took her to surgery, went to hockey practice, and came back to the hospital to sit with her family. Some bad news had been learned. The cancer had come back. She needed more surgery. Lambert remained at the hospital, spent nights there with her.
In 2001, Andi and Lane married. They soon became a family of four, taking care of Lane’s daughter from a previous marriage, Taylor, before Andi gave birth to another girl, Samantha. Andi and Lane remained married for the next 14 years, all while she continuing to fight, undergoing surgery after surgery until she passed away on September 16.
“She was always others first and she had a fire in her that was undeniable,” Trotz said. “Anybody who met her, came across her, you loved her. She had a lot of challenges over the course of her lifetime and she was the last person to feel pity for herself. When we had a bad game or we were feeling sorry for ourselves, Andi was the one that said, wake up and get going here and stop feeling sorry for yourselves. We’ll miss her, we love her, and we will continue to be a family.”
Lane and Andi Lambert
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