A 13-year-old boy has defeated a cancerous brain tumor that was capable of cutting his life short. And to celebrate, he watched his two favorite hockey teams face off.
“Do you all have tickets under Jimmy Alverson?” Jimmy asked at will call in the Verizon Center.
Jimmy is your typical red-blooded American boy. He loves sports: soccer, baseball, basketball and, of course, hockey.
“I’m rooting for both teams,” he said. “I just want to see a good game.”
Jimmy’s allegiances are split. He’s a big fan of Cap’s right winger Justin Williams. They’re pals, evidenced by the pair enjoying their time together on the ice.
His hat shows off the other players’ signatures, including Alex Ovechkin. Many of whom, he met in person a few months ago.
“They are great,” Jimmy said. “They showed me around the locker room.”
The opponent, which could be left nameless if they, the Anaheim Ducks, were not so kind and did not mean so much to Jimmy. He’s buds with Duck’s personnel too.
“I’m feeling great. I just can’t wait to watch this hockey game,” Jimmy said.
Feeling this way was not always a given for Jimmy. In 2015, he suffered from nausea, double vision and headaches.
Days before his 12th birthday, he was diagnosed with a brain cancer called Medulloblastoma.
He immediately underwent a seven-and-a-half-hour brain surgery, followed by seven weeks of radiation and seven months of chemo therapy. The treatment has affected his walk and hearing.
“I never imagined it would actually happen to me,” he said. “Once it did, I just saw how lucky everyone else was, not to take for granted playing outside or playing football with my friends.”
Watching his favorite teams with his Dad, his older sister or his younger brother were a dream come true.
“It’s so amazing,” his sister said. "I couldn't ask for anything more."
Casey Cares, a Baltimore-based non-profit focused on helping the critically ill and their families organized the event. To learn more about the organization or to make a donation, click here.