Over the course of the past year, the Kings have grown close to a fan that exemplifies strength and courage that goes far beyond the rink, exceeding the mental and physical aspects of the daily grind as a player in the NHL.
That fan is Cooper.
Cooper, nine years old, learned last year that he had a cancerous tumor in his brain, one which required immediate removal in the Emergency Room. While Cooper was in recovery at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, he got a surprise visit from some members of the Kings, including Bailey and Alec Martinez.
The recovery has been a battle for Cooper, who’s had to learn how to walk and talk all over again, a process and fight that amazes the players on the Kings’ roster.
For that, it was decided that Çooper would be our honorary guest during ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ night on October 23. Cooper met some of the players in the tunnel before the game, got to sit on the bench during warm-ups, dropped the ceremonial first puck, and got a tour of the locker room from Alec Martinez after the game.
“When he was walking by himself down the carpet, it was like wow, he’s walking straight… he’s balanced,” said Cooper’s mother. “He looked strong. He looked stronger than I’d seen him in a very long time.”
Fittingly, the Kings handled their opponent that night, beating Carolina 3-0 in front of the very special guest.
That win, however, compares nothing to the one Cooper has under his belt so far.
“He’s always going to be a survivor,” said his Mom. “I know he’ll be a survivor. It will always be a part of us. It’s changed our lives forever.”
WATCH: Cooper Fights Cancer