During the Stanley Cup Final, on some of Quinn Waters's most difficult nights, the Boston Bruins were there for him and his father, Jarlath. Quinn was undergoing chemotherapy for a tumor on his brain stem commonly known as medulloblastoma, but in June they still had hockey to watch.
Hockey was there for him again Tuesday. In his first public outing since being quarantined for the summer, "Mighty Quinn" dropped the puck before the Bruins game against the San Jose Sharks for Hockey Fights Cancer night at TD Garden.
"We were in his worst chemotherapy during the Stanley Cup Playoffs," Jarlath Waters said. "Quinn was probably at his worst, as far as health-wise. And we watched every game in the room. The Bruins got us through some rough nights, just me and him. So this means a lot."
While relegated to his house, police officers, firefighters, the Dropkick Murphys and Charlie Coyle, to name a few, visited him at his Quinn-dow to make the days easier.
The Quinn-dow has since closed down, and Quinn got to walk to center ice at TD Garden on Tuesday. He was greeted by a standing ovation from the packed house and fist pumps and stick taps from his heroes including Coyle, a fellow native of Weymouth, Massachusetts. Then he dropped the puck between Coyle, who he calls his "best friend," according to his mom, Tara, and Sharks captain Logan Couture. He was wearing Coyle's No. 13 and the name "Mighty Quinn," his nickname since being diagnosed in February, on the back.
An hour earlier, Quinn looked like any other 3-year-old. First he ate candy in his father's arms, then begged to be let down to exit a gaggle of reporters.
"We've had a very positive few days since his MRI," Jarlath Waters said of the test that showed no new disease. "This is a little family celebration, actually our first real public outing in, I want to say, nine months.
"There's no words for it. We've been holding our breath for so long waiting for some good news and then we finally got it."