Ference Visits Spaulding's Adaptive Sports Program
/ Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Recently, Andrew Ference visited the pediatric unit at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and met patients who participated in the facilitie's adaptive Sports Program.
While there, the Bruins defenseman saw patients use athletic equipment that has been specially adapted to fit patient needs in order to supplement their rehabilitation and treatment.
Bobbi Delaney, Direct of the Adaptive Sports Program, was Andrew's guide in the park and on the docks along the banks of the Charles River as Ference rode bicycles and went out on the water with children from the hospital.
Delaney told BostonBruin.com how visits like Ference's are integral for the patients at Spaulding.
“I think it’s really important for the kids to be able to see someone who has achieved such a high level of performance in sports come back and encourage them and see how we can make adaptations for people who have disabilities and encourage them on their path to incorporate sports and recreation again in their lives," she said.
Of course, it wasn't Ference or the Bruins first visit to the hospital. Last season during the holidays, the B’s visited Spaulding to deliver presents to those children who would spend the season in the hospital and play with the kids.
Ference said he was excited to be back at Spaulding and to participate in the Adaptive Sports Program.
“I got to try sled hockey last year and now with the cycling program here and being on the water -- it’s so cool, you know?" said Ference.“It’s so neat for me to come see and meet the kids.”
The Black & Gold blueliner challenged one patient, Bella, 8, to a race with Andrew on a paddleboard, and she on a wind-surfer.
“It’s so inspiring to see Bella ripping around on a windsurfer," said Ference of Bella, who had lost her limbs to a terrible infection. "It really inspires me."
Another patient, Arianalys, 11, had her hair done for Andrew’s visit. She is in a wheelchair after a series of strokes caused by Moyamoya disease.
“Andrew really seemed invested in who was participating today and took a personal interest in what these kids have been through and their diagnosis and their journey," said Delaney. “He took the time to actually go out and paddle on the water right next to [the kids], and that’s very encouraging for us.
"It’s a thrill for us to have someone like Andrew come down and participate in the program.”