TAMPA, Fla. — Sporting her pajamas on a makeshift hockey rink before the Lightning game, Alex Hutton was carefree Sunday night.
However, about five years ago, the 8-year-old was in a fight for her life. Alex was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2014.
“One of the hardest things we've ever dealt with, and I don't think we could've gotten through it without the people here,” Nina Hutton, Alex’s mom, said.
Through the Children's Cancer Center, Alex’s parents found out about the Ryan Callahan Foundation. The non-profit founded by the Bolts' right wing and his wife connects pediatric cancer patients to the team.
“It's just a relief that it's hard to find when you're in this process,” she explained.
Meeting the team and enjoying games from Callahan's box became a break from the stress of treatment for Alex and her family.
“Any time we say we're going to a game, that's their question. Are we going to the suite with Mr. Callahan? They love it,” Hutton said.
Sunday, the Ryan Callahan Foundation hosted a special watch party at the Children’s Cancer Center for cancer patients and survivors like Alex.
“You join this family kicking and screaming, not wanting to be in the cancer life, and then when you get to the end, it's a family that you can't leave,” Hutton said.
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