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Due to his medical condition, Jérôme is very prone to infections. He receives treatments every week and sometimes must be hospitalized for a few days due to the illness. He gets tired quickly and is smaller than children his age.
However, his medical condition did not prevent him from being active and devoting himself to his passion: hockey. He loves to play outdoors with his friends and plays in a minor league team. This sport being a real passion, he wanted to meet the players of the Vegas Golden Knights, for his wish.
Last winter, Jérôme, his brother and his parents flew to Vegas with WestJet. Upon their arrival, they were greeted by a volunteer translator from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada who gave them a welcome gift in addition to giving them information about the city. In the evening, they attended the Cirque du Soleil Mystery show. The family was very impressed with the show’s quality. Jérôme was even able to be photographed with some of the artists.
The next morning, a limousine was waiting for Jérôme and his family to bring them to the Vegas Golden Knights practice center. Six wish kids had their wish granted by the team and everything was done to make it a memorable event. The children were welcomed in the team locker room where a surprise awaited them: their own giant player card with photo and statistics, a team jersey, a helmet and more! After that, they had lunch with the Knights players, in order to gain strength before the practice.
They watched the team practice for a while before jumping on the ice with the players. Jonathan Marchessault took Jérôme under his wing during the practice. He gave him good advice on foiling the goalie, Marc-André Fleury, and he also cut his own stick and gave it to the teenager. Jérôme was thrilled!
Jérôme's mother told us: “At the beginning of the day, Jérôme was one of the children who was the most embarrassed because of the language barrier. At the end of the day, he was very open and practiced his English with his new friends.”
The next day was game night. The Golden Knights faced the New Jersey Devils. The children arrived at the T-Mobile Arena without really knowing what to expect. They were invited to go on the ice to welcome the players for the warm-up. Subsequently, they went up to activate the siren signifying the start of the game and their faces were broadcast on the central giant screen.
They then went to the VIP lodge to attend the game with their family. The place was specially decorated for them. Many gifts awaited them once again and there was a huge buffet. The evening was magical for the family! The icing on the cake… The Golden Knights won a 3-0 victory!
We were in contact with the family for the duration of the wish. The mother had only good words to say: "We could never have imagined that Jérôme could live such an experience! Everything was perfect! He was so excited that he barely slept during the trip. Being on the ice with your idols is something unique in a lifetime. He had stars in his eyes! I had tears in my eyes to see him so happy, to see his face on the big screen. It did him so much good not to think about his daily life. Life there was normal, no more illness. Now that we are back home, he is redecorating his room with everything he received during his wish. "
We would like to thank the Vegas Golden Knights for their wonderful welcome. A huge thank you to the partners who made this wish come true: WestJet, the Sony Charitable Foundation of Canada, TuGo and Best Western. We also thank the Sports Experts teams, from the 48-HOUR RIDE, who adopted Jerome's wish as part of the Adopt-A-Wish program. Thanks to all of you, Jérôme lived moments that he will remember his whole life.