BOSTON -- Laila Anderson is looking forward to adding a new bobblehead to her collection of current St. Louis Blues and alumni.
This one is special.
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled Wednesday a limited-edition bobblehead of Anderson, an 11-year-old Blues fan with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Anderson's battle with the potentially fatal severe systemic inflammatory syndrome has served an inspiration for the Blues, who are tied with the Boston Bruins in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final heading into Game 5 at TD Garden on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
"The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame contacted my mom and they said they wanted me to be a bobblehead and, of course, I immediately said, 'Yes,'" Anderson said. "I thought that was so cool because you see Blues players have bobbleheads, alumni have bobbleheads and I'm just Laila Anderson. I'm just a regular kid and for me to be a bobblehead is so cool."
Anderson is particularly proud that $5 of the proceeds from each bobblehead sold (each costs $25 plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order) will go to the St. Louis Children's Hospital, where she has been receiving treatment.
"They said $5 of every bobblehead sold would go to a charity of my choice and I chose St. Louis Children's Hospital because they have saved my life," Anderson said.
Anderson also had a say in the design of the bobblehead, which features her in her signature jean jacket and the beanie and gloves she wears to every game. She is holding the sign she brought with her to Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks, which reads "I'm here boys. … Let's do this," and ringing the bell patients at the Children's Hospital ring when they have completed treatment.
"It's cool for her and her family" said defenseman Colton Parayko, who was interviewed by Anderson on KSDK-TV in St. Louis after the Blues' 4-2 win in Game 4 of the Cup Final on Monday. "After [Game 4] they showed me what it's supposed to look like, so that was exciting. I thought the coolest part was that Laila herself decided to give $5 from every bobblehead to St. Louis Children's Hospital."
The bobbleheads are expected to be shipped in October. Anderson's mother, Heather, said each current Blues player will receive one.
"She is so excited knowing that her bobblehead will be in each of their homes," Heather Anderson said.
Laila and her mother attended Games 3 and 4 of the Cup Final at St. Louis and plan to be there for Game 6 on Sunday, too.
"I like to say being at those Blues games is the one medication my doctor is not able to prescribe to me," Laila Anderson said.
With the series tied 2-2, Anderson is confident the Blues will win the Stanley Cup for the first time in their 51 NHL seasons.
"We're winning in six," she said. "I know that for sure."