DALLAS -- Brenden Butler and Carter Stegman both hoped to go to the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1 as part of Make-A-Wish. Thanks to the Dallas Stars, both will be at that game.
Butler, 18, and Stegman, 3, were told on Friday that they'll be at the Cotton Bowl when the Stars play the Nashville Predators on New Year's Day. Stegman is a Haysville, Kansas, resident who is battling a rare disorder that affects white blood cell production called langerhans cell histiocytosis. He found out via a video chat with Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Butler, who lives in Plano, Texas, about 20 miles north of Dallas, got the news in person from Benn and Seguin at American Airlines Center. Butler has fought Ewing Sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that grows in bones or in the tissue around bones, in his left foot. He had a below-the-knee amputation and finished chemotherapy in September.
"Everybody pitching in and working as hard as they can to do this just for me, it's really exciting," said Butler, who will have his three-month, follow-up scan later this month. "I grew up playing hockey and I've been a Stars fan my whole life. I'm just overwhelmed, at a loss for words a little bit. I'm just real excited I'm able to do this."
Butler and his family got a tour of the Stars locker room and met former Stars forward Guy Carbonneau and defenseman Sergei Zubov, both of whom were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last month. Butler also attended the Stars game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.
"Being the Dallas Stars and having this platform to be able to grant wishes like this is really what it's all about for us," Dallas Stars Foundation director Chelsea Livingston said. "The guys really love it and it's something we're happy to be part of."