Canucks' annual holiday visit to B.C. Children's Hospital
Monday was the Canucks annual holiday visit with the kids at Children's Hospital with Fin leading the way.
Meanwhile, the day was not lost on the Sedins or anybody who has made a BC Children’s Hospital visit. Henrik and Daniel have kids of their own and have formed a strong bond with staff and patients of the facility.
“It’s not only the kids, but as a parent you realize what their parents are going through,” said Henrik. “We’ve been with families where it’s the last night that they’re going to see their kids. That’s tough to take in when you’ve got kids and it [donation] is something we wanted to do for a few years.
“The kids look up to us and for us to go there and spend a few hours, it’s special for us and hopefully special for them. We run into kids who are criticizing us as well, so it’s fun to be there.”
Kesler is also a father and has a different perspective on the annual hospital visit, but his opinion of what the Sedins have meant to the Canucks and to him on a personal basis hasn’t changed.
“They’re great guys and have always been really good to me and the community and I can’t say a bad word about them,” said Kesler. “When I see the smiles of the kids in the hospital, I get encouraged in how courageous they are and it definitely hits home.”
My 4 year old son unfortunately spent nearly a month in the ICU last January at BC Children's Hospital. As a parent, it was the most emotionally difficult experience of my life. I was surrounded by other parents and children who were in a similar state of turmoil. As my son slowly came back from the brink and made his recovery, you start to see the impact organizations like the Canucks have on the kids. In the regular ward, there's an entire room of toys and books that has been funded by the Canucks. The kids worship the Canucks like heroes. For my son, collecting hockey stickers and watching Canuck and NHL highlights were all we could do to get through some long and very boring nights.
While we were there members of the Blue Jays and the Canadian Olympic team came by. The looks on the faces of the sick kids is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Their faces light up at the site of their heroes. At the same time, you know that many of the kids may never have a chance to play hockey or live their dreams the way the players do.
The Canucks organization has always been about giving back to the community. I'm glad the players seem to recognize their role and impact they have. We sometimes get blinded by the amount of money these guys get paid. To the kids in the hospital, they don't care about any of that. To them, it's like meeting a super hero.