BOSTON (CBS) — When they’re playing in games, NHL players are a fearsome bunch. But when they’re off the ice, they’re some of the most generous athletes you could ever find.
That much was easy to see earlier this month, when Adam McQuaid, his teammates and the entire Boston Bruins organization helped give a 7-year-old boy the thrill of a lifetime.
Liam Fitzgerald lives in Northborough. He was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 4 years old, but he beat the cancer. Liam, who has Down syndrome, dressed up as his favorite Bruins player, Adam McQuaid, last Halloween. When the Bruins defenseman heard the news, he invited Liam and his family to the Garden to be his special guest for the game on Feb. 1 against the Oilers.
Once there, Liam had the experience of a lifetime.
“Liam was fan of the game, given a [Milan] Lucic pin from a fan, a Combat Action Badge from an Iraq War survivor, a medal blessed by the Pope from a woman in the train station, and $20 from a stranger for his savings account,” said Liam’s mom, Christine.
Liam also got to meet McQuaid, as well as Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuk and Shawn Thornton. Liam also met the Bruins Ice Girls and Blades, the team mascot.
“There are many amazing and giving people in the world, but the best part of the day was seeing how happy and how much fun Liam had,” Christine Fitzgerald said.
“We are thrilled that Liam and his family were able to have a night to remember at the Bruins game,” said Maureen Gallagher, the executive director of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.
“The family has given so much to the MDSC, and now the Bruins organization has given so much to them. The Fitzgeralds and the Bruins are true champions!”
The Bruins beat the Oilers that day 4-0, but what they accomplished off the ice was a victory that will have a much more lasting impact.