And a Happy Friday, y’all, and man what a week it has been. So much going on in the world, our President continues to sink to even lower depths as a human being and a leader (“What? You think I’ve reached bottom? Ha! I’ll show you, I can go WAY lower than this!) but none of that matters today because one of the best feel-good stories in sports the past several months had a happy ending Wednesday night. (And shout-out to the Toronto Raptors for its stunning NBA Finals win Thursday night, too, wow what a victory.)
The St. Louis Blues, the worst team in the NHL in early January, won the first Stanley Cup in franchise history Wednesday, beating the Boston Bruins in Game 7, 4-1.
But that’s not the part of the story I want to feature in Good News Friday. No, I want to talk about an 11-year-old girl, who’s been “adopted” by the team in an absolutely beautiful way.
From a St. Louis Post Dispatch story on Laila: “Laila is a Missouri kid who suffers from a rare disease called HLH, a systemic inflammatory syndrome that can be fatal. Last Halloween, Laila attended a trick-or-treat event with the Blues and Children’s Hospital. She met Colton Parayko, one of her favorite players on her favorite team.
“He was 100-percent committed to her, took her around trick-or-treating,” Heather Parayko, Laila’s Mom, said. “I said, ‘It’s OK,’ and he said, ‘I’ve got her – I’m going to hold her bag, I’m going to hold her drink, I’m going to do everything.’ He’s all in with her – they just have this bond. Ever since then, he’s come to visit her in the hospital. Stayed a ridiculously long time. They actually communicate once or twice a week. He just checks on her. It’s a genuine friendship.”
Through the organization Be The Match, a donor was found — Laila had a bone marrow transplant in January. She’s battled through ensuing chemotherapy. She’s fought and fought … and then had more fights to fight.”
Laila has been an inspiration to the team and its fans the last few months, and check out this inspirational video of her finding out she was getting to go to Boston for Game 7:
And as you know, the Blues won with Laila Anderson in attendance, and she got to kiss the Stanley Cup in that photo above, and dammit, if you don’t need a Kleenex by now, check your ticker.
What a wonderful story. Sports can do amazing things to people.
**Next up today, this short video went viral last week and I’ve only watched it 132 times because it’s so freaking adorable.
A comedian named D.J. Pryor decided to have a “conversation” with his toddler son, Kingston, about a TV show they were just watching together.
And Kingston is totally breaking it down and his Dad is reading him perfectly.
So damn cute. I want someone to give Kingston a job as a TV critic, please.
**And finally today, a sweet piece of nostalgia from “Sesame Street.” The great website Mental Floss brought this to me this week, and it’s just beautiful. It’s a clip of Kermit the Frog and a sweet little girl named Joey Calavan, from a 1973 episode, and watch and smile as Joey tries to joke with Kermit about singing the “ABC” song.
Jim Henson’s reaction is wonderful, as is the gleeful laughter of Joey. We need more of that in the world.
Have a great weekend.