My name is Shanna Westbrook and I'm a Buffalo Sabres fan. I live in the DC area though and am actually a Buffalo transplant. My husband is from DC and is a HUGE Caps fan. And through his affection for the Caps, he managed to turn my 7-year old daughter into a Caps fan as well. She loves Alex Ovechkin. My son, Parker, however is a Sabres fan like me. Anyway, we were in attendance at last nights Sabres-Capitals game and were lucky enough to meet Alex after the game. Well, under the circumstances, lucky isnt the correct word. Let me explain.
My daughter Lindsay was diagnosed not too long ago with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. It was ridiculously hard news to take since we never saw that particular diagnosis coming. Both of my children play youth hockey and have for years. At first it didnt slow her down much at all but now, thanks mostly to chemotherapy and other meds, she's so tired and sick all the time that she just cant play anymore. So to make up for the loss of hockey in her life (and it's a shame because she was so good at it) my husband has been taking her to Capitals games, and when she's too sick to go, we all watch the games on TV and it lifts her spirits tremendously. And ours too.
Now to make a boringly long story a little shorter, I'll get right to my point.
My husband's business partner has a friend in upper Caps management and he arranged for Lindsay (and us too) to meet with Alex after the game last night as a surprise to Lindsay. My husband made up this ridiculous story for her when she questioned why we were still at the arena when the game had ended, lol. She's a smart girl but she never saw this coming.
But when Alex and some other guy(I'm not sure who he was, public relations maybe, but he was informing Alex about Lindsays cancer) walked in the room her little jaw dropped and she just stared at him. He came over to talk to her (he called her sweetheart) and she was just speechless. Then all of a sudden she just started bawling, a little overwhelmed maybe. And what Alex did next was totally unexpected. I moved over to go comfort her and hopefully get her to talk to him but Alex beat me to it. He sat down on a bench and set her on his lap and just held her in his arms. I couldnt believe it. At that point, I started crying as well, lol.
After she calmed down, they just started having a conversation like they've been best friends for years. She told him about how she plays,or played rather, hockey and he gave her a few tips, lol. She told him about how she had a chemo treatment that morning and she wasnt feeling too well and he gave her another hug. Then he taught her how to say "I love you" in Russian. That was...interesting lol. They just talked back and forth for a while. A lot longer than I thought actually. And before he left and we went home he gave her an address and told her she could write to him anytime she wanted and he'd make sure he'd get it. I think it may have been a fan club address or something. I cant imagine it'd be his personal address. He even gave her a "special" nickname: Lulu, lol. I asked him why Lulu, and he said because he likes that name, lol. He's a funny guy. And even with his semi-broken english(it's getting much better though) it was just an unbelievable night. I just wanted everyone to know what an AMAZING guy we have here in Washington. I've never had an experience quite like that one.
Update: My guess is Alex called her not Lulu, but Lyalya (Ляля), or Lyalechka (Лялечка). This is how Russians call baby girls sometimes. For example, here's the Russian internet catalog site www.lyalya.ru that sells babies products similar to what Babies"R"Us does.