Ten-year-old Laura had only one dream. To go ice skating before beginning treatment for her life-threatening illness. She spent the morning of November 23 at the MSG Training Center with Adam Graves skating to her heart's content. Adam and Laura skated alongside her two cousins. When Graves handed Laura a hockey stick and showed her how to take a shot, she could not stop smiling. She began scoring goals with a huge smile. After each goal, she did the traditional Rangers hockey stick salute. Whether she was skating around the rink over and over again, shooting the puck or scoring goals, Laura had a constant smile on her face the entire time.
|Laura had the time of her life skating with Rangers alum Adam Graves thanks to the Garden of Dreams Foundation. |
"Laura is an incredible little girl. She is so brave and has the sweetest smile. It was such a pleasure to make her dream come true today. This meant just as much to me, as it did her. It is an honor to work with the Garden of Dreams Foundation to make dreams come true for children in crisis," said Adam Graves.
Head Coach Tom Renney entered the rink before Rangers practice to say hello and meet Laura. He spent time asking her about her skating experience and taking photos. Rangers Goalie Coach Benoit Allaire also came to meet this brave little girl. During his visit with Laura, Coach Allaire told her that she was a pretty good skater. This made Laura beam from ear to ear.
"It breaks my heart to see children sick, but I am glad I have an opportunity to help make their days brighter through the Garden of Dreams Foundation. Laura is a special girl that brings inspiration to those she meets," stated Tom Renney.
After skating all morning, Laura got to see the Zamboni up close and even took a photo sitting at the helm. Shortly after, the Rangers team came into the rink to practice and Laura had a front row seat. Laura, her cousins, father, mother and aunt sat rink side and watched the current team go through drills and take instructions from the coaching staff.
While watching practice, Laura received a visit from MSG announcer Joe Micheletti and General Manager Glen Sather. On more than one occasion, Laura laughed as Coach Allaire tapped a puck against the boards, where she was sitting. She realized that the Coach was trying to get her attention.
Laura is a shy little girl that loves to ice skate. Growing up in Puerto Rico with her family, she regularly ice skated. Over the last seven years, Laura has been battling serious illness. She was first diagnosed at the age of three and her parents immediately consulted with local physicians to get their daughter treatment. They soon learned that the best treatment was available in New York at Mt. Sinai Hospital so her family has traveled multiple times to New York to receive treatment. During her New York stays, she skates at Central Park while staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Skating is truly a passion for Laura and on Sunday, November 23 Laura had her dream come true through the Garden of Dreams Foundation and the New York Rangers.
For more information on the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with all areas of Madison Square Garden, including the Rangers, Knicks, Liberty, MSG Entertainment, MSG Media and Fuse to "make dreams come true for kids in crisis," please log onto gardenofdreamsfoundation.org