February 28th was the start of something special for Bria. We were gifted Sens tickets by CHEO for Thursday night hockey game. It worked out perfect because every Thursday night we are in Ottawa preparing for Bria’s chemotherapy on Friday morning. Bria was diagnosed with Brain Cancer in November 2018. She had major brain surgery and we found out that her tumor was inoperable. She is undergoing 70 chemotherapy treatments with a completion date of April 2020. Bria’s positive attitude and infectious smile will kick cancer to the curb!
My sister was visiting from Newfoundland and this was an exciting moment for her as she loves hockey. We headed to Ottawa, ready for game day in the Bobby Ryan Suite.
Bobby Ryan, #9 of the Ottawa Senators has a private suite for local children from CHEO for every home game. It’s called “Bobby’s All-Star Kids.” We were very thankful to be attending tonight’s game and especially honored to be watching from Bobby’s suite.
We arrived at the suite and was greeted by the suite hostess, Kelsey. There are not enough words to explain how amazing this girl is. She has a heart of gold, funny and she made Bria feel like a million bucks! Little did we know that this was a friendship in the making.
Bria is usually shy but Kelsey made her feel at home. When we walked in that suite, we were not thinking of tomorrow’s chemo and how sick it was going to make Bria, we were laughing, joking and making memories that we would never forget. Julie was on cloud nine as this was an amazing experience for her as well.
Kelsey escorted us down to the ice level to watch warm-up. She seated us behind the Sens goalie…what a view!
Bria was on the lookout for Bobby Ryan and she found him!
All her worries were gone. Thursday nights for the past few months were dreadful, but tonight she was having the time of her life. She smiled from the time she walked in until she fell asleep at the Ronald Macdonald House that night.
We were all smiling…
Next, Kelsey took us over to the home of the Zamboni’s. It was a little behind the scene tour for us and it was amazing. We got to stand at ice level for some photos.
Bria was given one of the warm-up pucks from tonight’s game, she was excited about that.
Next, Bria got to sit in the driver’s seat of the Zamboni. This was a cool experience for her. She was smiling ear to ear!
Time for tonight’s singing of our National Anthem
We got to stand at the edge of the ice and all our families back in Newfoundland seen us on TV!
The game hasn’t even started and we were already blown away! Back to the suite for some hockey and supper!
Here is a look around the suite…best rules ever!
Ottawa vs. Edmonton!
Bria cheered and danced her heart out all night!
This was a “Hakuna Matata” moment…it means “no worries”
This lady is from CHEO. She sees Bria every Friday when we go for chemo. It was neat that she was in the suite with us tonight! They had the best time!!
In the second intermission, Bobby Ryan’s All-star kids are on the jumbotron. We were waiting for Sparty to arrive and here he is…
It was our turn to make some noise
Bria and Sparty getting ready
Here they are
Tonight was an overall amazing night. It was much needed and seeing Bria laugh and dance all night was priceless. Before we headed out, we were gifted 3 more tickets for next weeks games. Our Thursday nights were becoming pretty special. We cannot thank CHEO, Bobby Ryan and Miss Kelsey enough for an incredible experience!
March 7th and it’s hockey night tonight, but tonight was more than just a game! Our friend Kelsey had made a few arrangements for Bria to meet Bobby Ryan after the game. Bria was more than excited as she has never met a hockey player before. She wanted a jersey so we took her out before the game.
She is all set and ready to go! We arrived at the arena around 6:30pm. The place was filling up with fans and you can see the excitement on everyone’s faces. There is just something about walking into a hockey arena and seeing the love of hockey everywhere. Hockey is on at our house every night during the season so this was a nice change as it’s been a few years since we been to a game.
First stop, off to visit our pal, Kelsey. I think she was a little happy to see Bria!
These 2 gals are amazing! They share that same infectious smile! Bria brought Kelsey a shirt as she wanted to be on Team Bria!
We had seat tickets this week but we did hang out at the suite for a few mins and we took the tour again because Dad was with us this time and we were pretty sure he would love it!
So much fun! Dad was smiling all night!
We headed over to the other side to take a few pictures with Dad.
Dad got to check out the Zamboni
We headed back to our seats but first we had to stop and get Bria’s jersey. She wanted #9 of course! She was so excited!
A little excited when Ottawa scored!
5 mins left in the game and a nice gentleman named Bill came to our seats. He was escorting us to meet Bobby Ryan. Bria is always shy around people she doesn’t know and it takes her a long time for her to warm up, but not tonight. She instantly bonded with him and they were skipping down the hallways in no time.
Off we go for her meet and greet! Hockey players everywhere.
Ottawa radio broadcaster…Gord Wilson.
Having a chat with Assistant Coach, Martin Raymond
The moment she has been waiting for…
Just look at her face, her smile was huge! She was so happy to be meeting Bobby Ryan and to thank him personally for how amazing he is for having such an awesome suite!
He was so happy to be on Team Bria.
This is her favorite picture
We also wanted one with Miss Kelsey…what a great team Bria got behind her on her journey!
Getting her jersey signed, she is quite proud of her jersey!
Next, we headed to the player’s bench! What a great experience!
The next few moments were priceless! I am pretty sure its the hardest that Bria has laughed in a long time.
What an incredible night we had with this family. Cancer has hit both of our families but cancer wasn’t slowing us down tonight!
These 2 gals are crazy haha!
“Let’s go check out the dressing room” What?!?
How cool?!? #74 Mark Borowiecki came in the dressing room to meet the kids. He was amazing with them and we all loved his little speech!
Lots of pictures
Getting his autograph on her jersey and one for her friend, Julia!
Next, we went to check out the visitor’s dressing room
Bria was causing so much trouble, we locked her up in the cell! HA!HA!HA
Bria and her new buddy, Bill! We cannot thank you enough!
When its late at night and you need a ride, you get a ride! That’s how it rolls in this place!
Midnight and we are the last car in the parking lot!
Off we go to the Ronald McDonald House! Bria was so excited about her jersey!
So tonight was “More than just a game.” We discovered that the inside of this building just isn’t a bunch of guys lacing up their skates for a game of hockey. It isn’t about who wins or loses. This place means family. Everyone there made Bria feel so special and it made for a night that she will never forget! I am so incredibly blessed that this Sens family came into our lives! They gave us a whole new meaning to Thursday nights while we wait for Friday mornings chemotherapy!
Chemo #13…she was so proud to show all her nurses and doctors her jersey!
See you all next week!
Read all about Game #3 here For The Love Of Hockey