>Stephany Jara, 9, of Lewisville, Texas, doesn’t really know who the Dallas Stars are, but her smile was a mile wide when members of the professional hockey team stopped by to visit her in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) outpatient clinic at Children’s Dec. 14. What girl wouldn’t smile when surrounded by a group of handsome young men?
One of the Stars Stephany got to meet was Brad Richards, #91, the team’s center. Richards has his own Brad Richards Foundation to help children with serious or life-threatening illnesses. At the American Airlines Center, Richards provides a suite for pediatric hematology-oncology patients, including patients from Children’s. He started the suite tradition when he played for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The foundation speaks volumes about the kind of man Richards is both on and off the ice. In fact, the National Hockey League has honored him with the Lady Byng trophy, which is awarded for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.
When Richards and all the rest of his Stars teammates visited the CCBD and other patient areas on their day off, they passed out Beanie Babies and NHL blankets and autographs. But more importantly, they passed out a little holiday cheer to patients like Stephany who, despite not knowing her sports teams, got a great pick-me-up.