The Anaheim Ducks made a dream come true Monday for a teenage boy who has a rare, life-threatening blood disorder.
Kai Quinonez was introduced as part of the Ducks roster before their home opener against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center after he took the ice with his favorite NHL player, Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm.
Quinonez, now 13, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia when he was 8 years old.
Aplastic anemia occurs when bone marrow doesn't produce enough blood-forming stem cells, resulting in low counts for all three types of blood cells. The disease leaves those afflicted by it fatigued and at a much higher risk for infections, uncontrollable bleeding and bruising.
Quinonez requested through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to spend a day with the Ducks, who decided to instead double his pleasure. Last Tuesday, Quinonez received his own locker in the Ducks dressing room and then practiced with them at Honda Center.