LOUISDALE: Spencer McNamara walked into the Richmond Arena last Monday with a smile on his face and, when he left, the smile was even bigger.
“We’re sending Spencer to the NHL All-Star Weekend,” said Cathy Sutherland, Development Coordinator of Make-A-Wish Canada. “We’re not going to say everything he’s going to experience down there, because we don’t want to take away from the trip, but he’s going to have a wonderful time.”
Sutherland was visiting the area to officially present McNamara his tickets to St. Louis, Missouri, the site of the NHL extravaganza. Along with the tickets, she presented him with details on accommodations, spending money, not to mention some treats including a cake bearing his likeness, a couple of gifts, and Spencer’s favourite: a McCain Deep ‘n Delicious cake.
“When we found out from the NHL there’d be an opportunity for some of our Wish Children to be a part of this, we reached out to the ones who might be interested,” Sutherland said. “As soon as I mentioned it to Spencer’s mom, she said she thought it was something he’d want to do.”
Joining McNamara in the celebration were members of the Richmond Hurricane, the high school hockey team he played with prior to September 25, 2018. McNamara was involved in a car accident on that date that put him in a hospital room at the QEII with life-threatening injuries.
The healing process was long, and it involved McNamara re-learning how to walk, talk, eat, as well as use the left side of his body. He still attends daily therapy, and he’s still a part of his team, as he serves as honorary general manager of the Hurricane.
And, this weekend, he mentioned that getting a Crosby autograph will be a top priority.
McNamara is one of two young people to visit the All Star Weekend due to Make-A-Wish Canada. An eight-year-old from Sherbrooke, Quebec is also heading south. Last year, the young man received a kidney transplant.
Should all go as planned, McNamara will be arriving on Thursday, January 23, in St. Louis.
Sutherland noted that her group is very pleased to be able to send Spencer to the All Star Weekend. She said Make-A-Wish Canada is always happy to brighten the day of a young person.
There was a change on the organizational front, as Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada joined forces. However, the mission is to provide children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to realize their most heartfelt wish, giving them the strength to endure their treatments and build resilience, is still priority number one.
On the local front, a Children’s Wish fundraiser will be held at the St. Peter’s Lions Den on Good Friday. Folks are encouraged to come out for the Easter Fun Day.