The life of a typical NHL player is a busy one, filled with practices, games, frequent travel and often not as much family time as one would wish for. Another part of nearly any athlete’s job is community appearances. Having so much on one’s agenda already, you would think most players wouldn’t voluntarily decide to make an appearance on their own, but Predators right wing J. P. Dumont is not your typical player.
On a recent weekday after practice, Dumont and the Predators mascot Gnash took time out of their busy schedules to go to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. They went to visit the children and bring joy to some who don’t experience it too much. Dumont and Gnash were first led to the eighth floor, and they slowly made their way, room-by-room and floor-by-floor, to the end of the fifth floor.
Dumont has a history of helping those less fortunate than him dating back to his days playing for the Buffalo Sabres. There, he made regular visits to a children’s hospital in Buffalo, and in the process, made a friend he still stays in touch with to this day. This friend is a young boy suffering from cancer, and Dumont hopes to bring the child and his family down to Nashville for a game this season as soon as the child feels up for it.
When asked about his interest in giving back to the community, Dumont responded, “Sometimes as an adult you think you are going through a rough time, but you don’t really know until you’ve talked to those families and you see what these kids are going through. It gives you a better perspective on life, you can’t buy health or anything like that so every little thing that I can do to help I am glad to do it.”
As the day’s visit came to an end, Dumont made one last stop to see a child diagnosed with cancer. The boy’s room was adorned in Predators posters, pictures and memorabilia. The child also kept a Predators jersey on his bed with him. J.P. spoke with the child for several minutes before stopping to take the hat off his own head, autograph it and give it to the young child. He also took the boy’s jersey to have the team sign it and return it to the child.