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Make-A-Wish Foundation of America honors Wings

by Bill Roose / NHL.com
DETROIT – Skating toward the Red Wings' bench, the million-watt smile etched on the young boy's face carried enough power to light up the arena.

As the 13-year-old boy finished the unexpected on-ice tutorial given by his absolute favorite NHL star, he felt exhausted on the inside, but on the outside that big, wide grin told a different story.

Like kids his age battling cancer and other childhood diseases, smiles can often be hard to come by in Riley Wild's world. But for one day last March, he managed to forget the 40 weeks of chemotherapy than made him nauseous for days, and more than 30 radiation treatments that his young body had to endure after doctors removed a softball-sized tumor from his abdomen.

Once he felt up to it, Riley's wish was to skate with the Red Wings. What he got was a dream come true when his favor player, center Pavel Datsyuk, spent nearly an hour with him on the ice, giving him tips on shooting, puck-handling, and more.

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