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Lundqvist surprises three-time cancer survivor, Rangers fan with jerseys

Goalie met with Connor McMahon on set of 'GMA Day' on Wednesday

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / NHL.com Staff Writer

Henrik Lundqvist is a goaltending legend, but even he couldn't help by look up to Connor McMahon.

The New York Rangers goalie surprised McMahon, a 17-year-old three-time cancer survivor and Rangers fan, and gifted him two jerseys on the set of "GMA Day" on Wednesday.

Watch: Youtube Video

Lundqvist met McMahon and his dad Don and mom Michelle in New York. McMahon also received a recorded message from Rangers forwards Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad and defenseman Marc Staal, who invited him to a Rangers game and a behind-the-scenes tour of Madison Square Garden.  

"I don't know how you battle through it," Lundqvist said to McMahon's parents, "but it shows you, all of you, [are] big fighters, and it's inspiring."

McMahon is from Alpharetta, Georgia and battled and defeated acute lymphoblastic leukemia on three separate occasions. He has been cancer free for more than two years, keeping thanks to Don, who taught him the meaning of hope. He has been delivering supplies to other children with cancer, in backpacks with "Hope" embroidered on them, for the past 10 years.

"I definitely think [having cancer] made me think of others over myself, because I always think someone has it worse than I do" McMahon said on "GMA Day" on Wednesday. "That was one of the main lessons that cancer taught me."

Aside from hope, hockey also helped McMahon overcome his disease. He began skating at age 3 and has been playing as a goalie since.

"When I got diagnosed with cancer, hockey was my escape," McMahon said. "When I was on the ice, I could really clear my head, and hockey was the only thing I was thinking about. While I was on the ice, I wasn't the kid with cancer; I was a hockey player."

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