BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask recently paid a visit to the Jimmy Fund Clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he was greeted with a warm welcome from the staff and patients.
|Tuukka with Azia from NH (Photo: DFCI) |
“It was actually my first time in this particular place,” Rask said from the lobby of the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care. “It’s a great building they have here, and it was good to see that there weren’t too many kids here today.”
The clinic prides itself on providing both research and treatment for pediatric cancer, and is revered for its role in helping children and their families fight the disease.
“It’s always good to see the kids and make them smile and give them little gifts,” Rask continued. “It was really good today.”
Surrounded in a playroom full of dinosaurs, arts and crafts, and literally a boatload of toys, the 25-year-old goalie found himself feeling like a kid again.
“They’re going through some tough times,” Rask said. “But they’re still kids and to see them smiling and doing funny stuff it makes you feel like a kid again too.”
One young patient, Jonathan from Worcester, was excited for the NHL netminder to taste his pretend pepperoni pizza.
“It was delicious!” Jonathan said with a smile.
Rask also spent some time playing with children in the lobby and visiting others in their rooms at the facility.
Afterwards the Finnish goalie fielded questions from local reporters for the first time since signing his one-year contract extension. Rask said he’s happy to stay in Boston, and hopes to earn a longer contract by proving himself in the upcoming season.
“That’s always been my goal and that’s still my goal,” said Rask of staying with the B’s. “So I’m sure it’s going to happen.
“It’s totally up to me [and] how good I can play and prove to the team and management that I’m worth it.”