Jets win takes back seat to 7-year-old's struggle with cancer
Michael Shulman, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Wednesday, February 25, 2015 8:40PM EST
In a 4-2 win over a division rival in the middle of a hotly-contested playoff race, you might expect that the biggest cheers would be saved for the hometown Winnipeg Jets.
However, it was seven-year-old Alyx Delaloye who stole the spotlight on Tuesday.
She inspired 15,000 fans at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg to cheer and players to tap their sticks on the ice when she was shown on the arena Jumbotron holding a sign that read "Chemo by day, Jets by night."
Delaloye was diagnosed with leukemia in July. And since then, her family has been driving her from her home in Neepawa, Man., to Winnipeg for weekly rounds of chemotherapy.
On Tuesday, Delaloye and her family won tickets to the Jets game against the Dallas Stars.
The seven-year-old's immune system has been weakened during her bout with cancer, and she hadn't been allowed in public for two months. Luckily, her doctors gave her the OK to attend the game.
"I think that's really special because she wasn't allowed in public for two months. So this is the first time she's been out and it was a pretty big deal," her mother, Jody Delaloye, told CTV Winnipeg.
And when 15,000 fans showed their support, Delaloye said it felt "amazing."
"It's unbelievable (the) support you get from people you don’t even know," her mother added.
At the Jets practice on Wednesday, players were still talking about the girl who inspired them to tap their sticks on the ice.
"When we see that, it puts the game secondary, and makes you realize some of the real-life challenges that people go through and we applaud her courage … and wish her the best," said Jets forward Drew Stafford.
And Winnipeg players are hoping they see more of girl who fights cancer by day, and cheers for the Jets by night.
Forward Jim Slater was so moved by Delaloye's appearance that he reached out on Twitter following the game, asking for her contact information.
Anybody at the game know the little kid they showed on the jumbotron tonight that got an applause. If you do please let me know— Jim Slater (@slaterjim) February 25, 2015
"I think we're trying to arrange something where she can come to another game and … meet some of the guys," said Jets forward Bryan Little.
"It's pretty inspirational when you see that," he added.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg's Josh Crabb