One thing that Chicago Blackhawks fans dream of doing, other than seeing their team win another Stanley Cup, is having the chance to watch the team play on home ice at United Center. The experience of over 20,000 fans cheering during the national anthem is second to none, and the team feeds off the energy the fans provide.
One fan had a special time At Tuesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. Frank Allegretti is a hospice patient who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five months ago, and one of his big wishes was to see the Blackhawks play at United Center one last time. With the help of the organization Hospice Dreams and the Blackhawks, Alegretti’s wish came true.
Hospice Dreams is like the Make A Wish Foundation in that they grant wishes for terminal patients. The difference is that the patients whose wishes are granted are adults as opposed to children. Over the past five years, they’ve helped fulfill wishes such as meeting Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher at training camp and talking to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler over Skype.
Allegretti, his sister and his hospice nurse were granted tickets donated by the team to Tuesday’s game in Section 105 as well as a meet and greet with players after the game. The Ducks won in a shootout, and Allegretti didn’t make it to the meet and greet because he wasn’t feeling well. That didn’t matter to him, because he was happy just to see his favorite team play.
Stories like this give you that extra warm feeling about hockey. The appreciation the players and team organizations have for their fans is amazing, and this is one example of how, in spite of rivalries and dislike of other teams, we’re all one big family.