When the Washington Capitals began warm-ups during their final game of the regular season, a special voice helped to introduce them.
Emily, a 17-year-old Keymar, Md., native, joined public address announcer Wes Johnson in welcoming the team to the ice.
Emily was at her first Capitals game through the Capitals and Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic’s commitment to make Emily’s wish to meet Capitals forward Brooks Laich come true.
Emily suffers from Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract.
Due to complications, Emily has had most of her colon removed and has had additional coronary, venous and arterial infections and clots.
“Hockey is my favorite sport and I really enjoy it,” said Emily. “Everyone in my family likes it so I figured it’d be a good thing for us to all do.”
The evening included several surprises for Emily and her family.
After riding the Olympia ice resurfacer during the first intermission and watching the game with her family from Ovi’s Crazy 8s section, Emily was invited to the press box where she met Laich. The two then watched the third period of the game together, along with Emily’s father.
“Emily was awesome,” said Laich following the experience. “A huge hockey fan – a very bright, intelligent girl. It was an honor for me to meet her.”
After the game Laich presented Emily with his jersey during the team’s Jerseys Off Our Backs ceremony, part of Fan Appreciation Night. Emily’s whole family then met with Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera, Mike Green, Braden Holtby, Laich and Mike Ribeiro.
Founded in 1983, the mission of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Foundation serves children who reside in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia and has granted the wishes of more than 7,600 local children fighting life-threatening medical conditions such as cancer, pediatric AIDS, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchene’s muscular dystrophy, kidney and heart disease.