As Nick recovers from leukemia, he has something to keep him motivated: He knows his wish will come true when he’s well enough to travel. Then, he’ll skate with Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the greatest players to wear a Detroit Red Wings jersey.
It takes time – including nearly six months in the hospital. But the day of Nick’s Make-A-Wish® experience finally arrives. He’s loved hockey since he was just 5 years old. And why Lidstrom?
“I liked Lidstrom because we had the same name,” Nick says. “He’s been my favorite player ever since.”
The wish starts with a tour of Joe Louis Arena and VIP seats at the Red Wings’ morning skate. After the tour, Lidstrom astounds Nick with an invitation: Lace up your skates, Nick … you have to join the team out on the ice.
The players organize a shootout. Goalie Ty Conklin takes his place in the crease. Think you can score on him? Give it your best shot.
Nick steps up. Glides over the ice. Shifts to his backhand. Back to the forehand. Snaps the stick over in his wrists.
And raises his stick in triumph as the puck sails over the goal line.
A day later, the Red Wings treat Nick to seats at the next home game. He goes home with armloads of autographs … and with renewed belief that anything can happen.