Saturday afternoon was the first time that seven-year old Josiah Desper had ever skated, but he had a heck of a teacher by his side. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin greeted Josiah with a hug, helped him tie his skates, and then the two zoomed away at full speed, holding hands.
Josiah has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. His mother, Sha Desper, told NHL’s Tom Gulitti that Saturday’s skate with Ovechkin helped keep Josiah’s mind off the stress of his treatments.
“He doesn’t have to worry about doctors, hospitals, needles, treatment, pills,” Sha said. “As you see, he’s fully enjoying himself. That’s why I bring him out to stuff like this.”
The Capitals hosted Saturday’s Hockey Fights Cancer skate at Medstar Capitals Iceplex, following regular practice. Each player was paired with a Make-A-Wish kid, and children from the Capitals’ other charity partners Flashes of Hope, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network also participated in the skate.
Photos: Elizabeth Kong
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