On Monday, the Capitals made their annual visit to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. The visit coincides with Hockey Fights Cancer month, an initiative that unites the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families.
Throughout the afternoon, the Capitals, wearing their lavender jerseys, interacted with children and their families while signing autographs and posing for photos.
“I think it’s important to give back,” John Carlson said to Monumental Sports Network’s Ben Brown. “When you set out on an initiative like Hockey Fights Cancer, you can’t just say it. You have to do it. It’s important to be there for people, and the kids who were in the unit I visited today really enjoyed having us there whether they were hockey fans or not. It’s all about being light and being fun and enjoying our time there.”
Throughout the afternoon, the Capitals were split up into four groups with two of the groups visited patients, who were not well enough to join in the public activities, in their hospitals rooms.
The other two groups spent the afternoon doing activities with the children in the hospital’s renovated art clinic. In addition to the art room, Dmitry Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Alex Ovechkin participated in a Flashes of Hope photoshoot. Flashes of Hope is a national non-profit that raises money for pediatric cancer research and changes the way children with cancer see themselves through the gift of photography. Official Flashes of Hope photos on Monday were provided by Virgil Ocampo Photography.
“When kids are in the hospital, in some ways all of the days are the same, and there’s not really a lot to look forward to,” Jessica Uze, a child life specialist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital said. “But then something like this comes up and they know that on this day the Caps are coming to see them, and they have something to look forward to.
“Also, most of the people who these kids see each day are medical people, so they have doctors and nurses coming in all the time and they never know if that person is going to give them bad news or do something to them that hurts,” Uze continued. “then the Caps come and it’s all fun and it makes them feel so special.”
Photos: Cara Bahniuk & Amanda Bowen
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