Noah Thompson is a 13-year-old from Charlotte, NC who eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. Noah has been playing hockey since he was old enough to stand on the ice and he has a very natural talent. In fact, the sport has been handed down from his father, once a goalie himself, to both Noah and his brother. Noah's talent combined with his determination and focus took him to a travel team where he played goalie with the best hockey players of his age.
Two years ago, Noah received some unexpected news. He was diagnosed with Epilepsy and in a blink of an eye, the course of his life changed. Noah has had to adopt many new behaviors including learning his seizure inducing triggers, keeping up with medicines, and facing other obstacles such as self-esteem issues, fear, and trouble with memory and concentration. As you might guess, Noah had to give up the travel team due to the physical intensity and now plays for a recreational league. He shared with us that sometimes he "feels off on the ice" and that means he might miss a drill and sit the bench, never easy moments for Noah. Despite these new obstacles he is facing, Noah works very hard to keep a positive mindset.
Noah's other interests are similar to other pre-teens, he loves pizza, video games, Star Wars and the occasional night out at Chili's, his favorite restaurant. However, none of those come close to his love of hockey, he truly has ice in his blood! He would love to be a NHL goalie when he grows up because "it would be awesome!" Noah's sports hero is Jonathan Quick, LA Kings Goaltender, because of his determination - "he just never gives up!" Noah has learned a lot about what it means to keep going even through challenging times. The team at Jeff Gordon's Children's Hospital, a DO3 referral partner, has rallied behind Noah and taught him the skills necessary to battle the Epilepsy. Right now, he is taking one day at a time and leaning on the love and support of the hospital staff and his family.
Noah's sports Dream is to "meet Jonathan Quick with the LA Kings." His Dream Experience is being sponsored by Davco Roofing, a company that believes in making a difference in their community. The owner, Dan Davis, was able to join us to reveal the surprise to Noah. "Brandon and Elizabeth told me about your story and everything you have been through……..it really touched me and I thought you deserve to be rewarded for all your hard work." Sponsoring this Dream Experience is about being a part of moments like this one, it's about being in the huddle for a family that needs a "game changer."
Noah's mom, Tobi, is overjoyed at the idea of Noah's Dream coming true, "I cannot even begin to explain how shocked and thankful George and I are feeling right now. It's truly the best phone call we have received since Noah's diagnosis. Please know that while Dream on 3 is making Noah's dreams come true, you are also giving us a chance to see our son hopeful, excited, truly carefree and happy for the first time in two and a half years (I cannot even wait to see his reaction. The smile will be priceless). Thank you to you and your team for making this a dream come true for all of us!!" We are just as excited to see Noah's face and to restore some encouragement and magic in his life!
The Dream Experience
Although he knew we would be making his dream come true, he had no idea when it would happen. So in an effort to be top secret, we took over his school with a few hundred of his friends and then pulled him out of class for the big surprise. Teachers, students, health care staff, friends, and family chanted his name as he walked through the doors stunned. Met by Elizabeth Lindsey (DO3) and Dan Davis (Davco Roofing) he eventually learned that he would be leaving for LA in just a few hours.
Noah's journey hasn't been an easy one and we told Noah that he is an inspiration and a testimony to hard work and perseverance. He received a special acknowledgment from his teacher, Mr. Schulman and then it was off in the limo from Uptown Limousine. The family let the shock settle and enjoyed a meal courtesy of Mellow Mushroom Ballantyne and then it was wheel up to the West Coast!
It was an eventful 4 days! He spent time on the ice with Kings players and Alumni, Daryl Evans (an amazing guy!) learning skills and having a little fun doing what Noah loves the most. He was surprised by his sports hero, Jonathan Quick, and stunned speechless for quite a while! Jonathan spent time talking hockey, autographing and just getting to know Noah and his family. Noah and Jonathan have quite a bit in common, including their shy personalities. Did you think we were going to say tattoos? Despite the shyness, they became fast friends!
The 1st Kings game they attended unfortunately ended in a loss but it didn't feel like that for Noah. Jonathan came back again, this time for a private tour of the Kings locker room! It was such a great day for everyone.
The next day was another complete surprise for Noah. The family spent a day having fun and riding coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain - and Noah was fearless…not surprising!
At Saturday's game against the Minnesota Wild, Noah sat right behind the glass, courtesy of a generous season ticket holder. This game had a much better outcome with a nailbiting win in overtime! A final score of 4-3 put smiles on everyone's faces!
Noah's Dream Experience culminated in quite the finale when he and his family attended the Tip-A-King charity event hosted by the Kings Care Foundation. This foundation went all out and provided Noah with a VIP experience…well…fit for a king! This event was very exclusive, tickets were $375/person and there were only about 1200 available. Kings Care provided VIP entry and "Kings cash" so that Noah had time with ALL the Kings players. A live DJ, catering by Wolf Gang Puck and even more time with his hero, Quick- does it get any better?