Monday, February 8, 2010

The Leafs Welcome Terminally Ill Toddler

I was not planning on blogging anymore for the day but then the unhusband sent me an e-mail about three year old Tucker Patterson.  The following comes from the CBC.

Tucker Patterson, 3, suffers from Leigh's disease, a debilitating genetic disorder that has him confined to a wheelchair. He cannot walk, talk or eat, but was smiling as his father and twin sister wheeled him around the ice surface at the home rink of the Leafs on Tuesday.

Tuesday's skate came nine days after Tucker was denied access to a Hamilton rink. A rink employee told Tucker's mother Kari on Jan. 17 that the facility could not accommodate her son and his wheelchair.

"I was looking on the city of Hamilton website, and it stated in their mission values and goals statement clearly that all Ontarians with disabilities of any age are given equal opportunity to enjoy life," Kari Patterson said Tuesday.

The rink's manager promptly apologized to the family. Hamilton city manager Chris Murray told CBC News in an email the city "has a policy that is inclusive, not exclusive, and allows or makes accommodation for any and all our citizens."

He said the city will ensure there is "better communication with our employees regarding these policies."

A representative from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment heard Tucker's story and offered to have him watch a Leafs practice and tour the ice surface.

Click the image below and you will find a video of Tucker at the Air Canada Center cheering on The Toronto Maple Leafs.  I am warning you I cried like a baby.

image Below is an excerpt from a letter that Tucker’s Mom wrote to The Leafs in thanks.

When Jason gave Tucker, Tori, Avery and our nephews the gift bags, they were so thrilled.  Then when Tucker received the warm-up suit, felt hockey helmet and then the brand new jersey – I nearly cried. I couldn’t wait to watch the practices and then see Tucker’s reaction to being on the ice for the first time (a very special father/son moment): I honestly don’t think it could get better than that.

I’m not even really a hockey fan but this story really touched me.  Thank you so much to the Toronto Maple Leafs for being a class act and asserting that everyone has a place in this world.

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