Alyx Delaloye, cancer-fighting girl, thanks Jets fans, meets team
The seven-year-old girl who is fighting cancer was back at MTS Centre on Sunday, holding up a sign for the crowd as the Jets took on the Los Angeles Kings.
Last week, the girl from Neepawa, Man., and her family were shown on the Jumbotron of a Jets–Stars game.
Alyx, who was diagnosed with leukemia in July and is going through her sixth round of chemotherapy, was shown on the arena Jumbotron with a poster that said, "Chemo by day, Jets by night."
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Both teams saluted her by banging their sticks on the ice and the crowd gave her a standing ovation. After that game, Jets centreman Jim Slater, who has a young daughter of his own, called Alyx inspiring.
On Sunday, Alyx and her family were back as guests of the Jets and given seats not far from the glass, where she could see the game up close.
The Jumbotron camera found her again and an excited Alyx scrambled to stand on her seat and hold up a sign saying, "Thank you everyone."
Once again she received an ovation as well as a hug from Jets' mascot Mick E. Moose.
Boy with the hockey stick
And then, something unexpected — a little boy a few rows ahead of her walked up the stairs and handed her a Jets souvenir hockey stick.
Nine-year-old Keaton Hamin was given a stick by Jet Tyler Myers.
"It was really exciting when I got the sick but right away my instinct knew I had to [give it to] Alyx," said Hamin.
He immediately asked his dad if he could do just that.
"I felt really, really bad for her that she had cancer," said Hamin. "I hoped that she would feel happy and supported by everybody in Winnipeg."
A shocked-looking Alyx turned to her parents as the boy walked back to his seat.
She then went to the boy and wrapped her arms around him, burying her head against him with a loving thanks.
"That was special," said Ken Hamin, Keaton's dad. "It really made me feel good and super proud that he did that."
After his son gave Delaloye the stick, Ken gave the girl and her mother a pair of Jets tickets to Wednesday night's game — one they'll go to together after Alyx is finished her next round of chemotherapy.
'Such a brave, nice girl'
After the game, Alyx and her family met members of the Jets.
"She's such a nice, brave girl and her family was really nice. I saw her like everyone else on the Jumbotron, so it's nice to get a chance to meet someone like that in person," forward Bryan Little told reporters on Monday.
"She got to meet, I think, almost the whole team, come in to the dressing room and take some pictures and stuff. It was a good feeling for everyone."
Slater agreed, adding that he's happy the Jets won both games that Alyx attended.
"She's 2-0 now with us so that was nice to get the win for her. The locker room is a little bit happier for the win," he said.
"I think her brother said this was the best day ever, and when you hear those comments come from somebody it's great," Slater added.
"It's a little thing that we can do and obviously it's a big thing for them, so we had a great time after the game with her and I think all the guys enjoyed it too."
With files from the CBC's Jeff Hamilton