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Giguere, Stanley Cup brighten cancer patient's day

by Mike G. Morreale

It was anything but an ordinary morning for 13-year-old cancer patient Logan Piz on Wednesday at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver.

That's because in addition to his customary treatment for Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that has kept him off ice skates the past six months, Piz was stunned to learn he'd be fulfilling a childhood dream by spending a day with the Stanley Cup.

As if that wasn't enough, he also met and discussed the Stanley Cup Playoffs with his favorite player, goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Colorado Avalanche.

"He's a bright, young kid and I was honored to, first, be his favorite player, but to also be a part of his day," Giguere told "All he really wanted to do was spend the day with the Cup and share it with the rest of the community. It was a no-brainer for me to be able to come here and spend part of my day with him."

For Logan, it was the ultimate hockey experience come true. Joining him were his mother and father, Tammy and Ron, and brother Hayden.

After sharing the Stanley Cup visit in the morning with the doctors and nurses who have tended to him, as well as other cancer patients and their families, Logan got the opportunity to surprise his hockey teammates with the Cup at the Apex Center in his hometown of Arvada, Colo.

"To me, the Stanley Cup is every basement hockey tournament … where every goal is with three seconds left, 'He shoots, he scores,'" Piz said. "For me, it's my hometown of Arvada and everyone here who has supported me so much, and I'm blessed to have all of that."

At the Apex Center, Logan walked the Stanley Cup onto the ice where he and his teammates posed for pictures. It was at that point Logan received his second big surprise of the day -- a visit from Giguere.

Giguere lost his father to cancer in December 2008.

"He looked pretty stunned," Giguere said of Logan. "He had a lot going on [Wednesday]. I think he was excited to be able to see a guy he looks up to and be able to spend some time with. If I can be here and help him forget about what he's going through and put a smile on his face, it's all worth it."

Giguere said Logan is a self-proclaimed "playmaker" on the ice -- he plays right wing for his hockey team.

"I was telling him stories about what I did when I won the Cup … little things like that," Giguere said. "We talked about his hockey team and what type of player he is. We didn't go into details about his cancer or what he was going through because this day is forgetting about that. It was about having fun, and I think we were able to do that."

Logan's day was made possible when Discover, the official credit card of the NHL, learned of his unique wish after reaching out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Discover then began coordinating logistics with the League and Make-A-Wish to ensure Logan's dream would become a reality.

"The moment we learned of Logan's wish, we knew we wanted to help," said Matt Towson, Discover senior manager of community affairs. "This wish experience has been heartwarming, and we're thankful that our great relationship with Make-A-Wish and the NHL could play a part in helping make it come true for Logan."

Piz, who was able to skate for the first time Wednesday since being diagnosed with cancer in November 2012, started playing hockey when he was 2 years old. He said the thing he missed most was being with his teammates.

"The NHL is extremely proud to present the Stanley Cup to Logan, a true champion who is very deserving of his day with the Cup," said Bernadette Mansur, NHL Foundation executive director. "We wish Logan a great day and thank all who made this wish possible."

Discover has been the only company to build a national marketing platform around the Stanley Cup, and last year sponsored a video contest that awarded a 9-year-old New York boy a day with the oldest and most recognized trophy in professional sports.

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

"Logan's ultimate hockey experience represents all that Make-A-Wish stand for … providing hope and a positive outlook on the future by giving strength to wish kids as they fight their illness and spreading joy to all those around them," said David Williams, Make-A-Wish president and CEO. "With the help of Discover and the NHL, we know [Wednesday's] events will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of Logan and his teammates."


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