Eleven-year-old Phillip is an avid hockey fan and has watched nearly every Colorado Avalanche game. His favorite player is Joe Sakic, who is not only a former Colorado Avalanche hockey player and captain, but is also a role model for many young fans. As fellow Canadians, Sakic is Phillip’s favorite player and has been Phillip’s role model during his battle with end-stage renal disease.
Since infancy, Phillip has undergone a variety of treatments and a multitude of hospital visits. His dialysis routine remains time-consuming and exhausting, but Phillip’s love for hockey kept him strong and distracted from his realities. Throughout his treatment, Phillip never imagined he would get a chance to meet his idol until he was referred to Make-A-Wish Colorado where his wish came true.
Wearing his Sakic jersey and filled with excitement, Phillip started the day with a tour of the Colorado Avalanche locker room at the Pepsi Center. It was here that Sakic surprised him and joined the tour, showing him all around the hockey arena.
“Phillip grew up idolizing Joe Sakic and watching professional hockey games,” said Phillip’s mom, Ana. “When Phillip met him, it brought smiles to everyone. He paid such close attention to Phillip the entire time.”
After years of watching hockey from his television and in the stands, Phillip, joined by Joe Sakic, was able to watch the players warm up from the bench. Phillip even high-fived all his favorite players as they came off the ice. Phillip remained on the bench for the pre-game warm up before heading up to his very own, generously donated, suite. It was the perfect day for a passionate Sakic fan.
“I have always dreamed of this day,” said Phillip. “It was so awesome - better than I could have ever imagined.”
Today, Phillip remains on nightly dialysis but is feeling much better. He attends summer camp and remains a loyal Colorado Avalanche fan. For Phillip, his wish experience is one he will cherish for a lifetime and meeting Joe Sakic gave him a renewed sense of strength to continue fighting.
“Seeing the smile on his face from the moment he arrived at the game until the time he left had a big impact on all of us who met him. We thank Phillip and his family for their long-time support of the Colorado Avalanche and wish him continued good health. We were truly honored and humbled to be a part of his wish.”
– Colorado Avalanche