By Elyse Bailey
On Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres headed to Toronto to face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabres were not the only special visitors that evening. Hayden Foulon was also in the building to celebrate her seventh birthday watching her best friend Mitch Marner.
According to NHL.com, Marner first met Hayden in 2015 as a member of the OHL’s London Knights while the team toured Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre. Hayden was first diagnosed with Leukemia at 22 months old. Last spring, she was declared cancer-free but a follow-up test in July revealed that the cancer returned.
Over the last several years, Marner has shown his love and support to the family by giving them presents and tickets to games.
On Satuday, Marner surprised Hayden with a cake to celebrate the day. On top of the cake was a photo of the two of them imprinted in the frosting. He also surprised her and her family with tickets to the game that evening.
Wow! Look who just turned 7! Happy birthday to my good friend Hayden – it’s always a gift to me when you come visit. Stay strong, keep fighting and I’ll see you again soon! #GoTeamHayden @lindsay0919 pic.twitter.com/scZwOuJrdI
— Mitchell Marner (@Marner93) March 3, 2019
Before the game, Hayden was spotted on TV jumping up and down so excited to see her buddy! Marner stopped to give her a hug and say hey.
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Mitch Marner making birthday wishes come true ❤️
A post shared by Sportsnet (@sportsnet) on
Sportsnet asked Marner what it meant to him to see Hayden excited to give him a hug before the game.
“It means a lot,” Marner said. “She brightens my day as much as I brightened hers. We’ve been talking a lot throughout the year and she’s a big inspiration to me. It’s special having her down here and getting to spend her birthday with me. Hopefully, it’s one she won’t forget. I know I won’t forget this moment. It’s something that I’m always grateful for and it’ll be fun celebrating with her after this win.”
Hayden was clearly Marner’s good luck charm as the Maple Leafs forward ended up registering three points (1g, 2a) that evening.
Marner is quickly becoming a fan favorite as he has made several young fans’ nights this season with kind gestures
Headline image: @Marner93
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