Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Capitals Visit Children's National Medical Center

Capitals center Brooks Laich colors with patients at Children’s National Medical Center.

Five Washington Capitals players – Matt Bradley, Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich, Brendan Morrison and Jeff Schultz – visited Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., yesterday to spend time and share stories and smiles with patients. These rough and tumble hockey players truly look forward to seeing the children at the hospital each year during this annual visit and for a few hours, they become kids themselves as they play video games, color and cheer up the young patients. “This visit is something we do every year and it is something I would not miss,” said Matt Bradley. “To see their faces light up when we walk into the room is priceless.”

The guys colored and played the card game UNO with the kids in the hospital’s atrium before breaking into two groups to visit children who weren’t healthy enough to leave their rooms. There they played video games and took pictures with the patients and passed out blankets, cups, hats, tattoos and signed player cards. The patients ranged from one year old to 18 years old.

Children’s National Medical Center is the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in the metropolitan Washington area and is the only freestanding children’s hospital between Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Norfolk and Atlanta. Serving the nation’s children for more than 130 years, Children’s National is a proven leader in the development and application of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury.

One of the Capitals, goaltender Jose Theodore, has his own personal connection to Children’s National Medical Center after suffering the unimaginable devastating loss of his infant son this past summer. While we as sports fans sometimes forget that these guys experience the same life events and emotional stresses as the average Joe, HM knows that Theo and his family were in the thoughts and prayers of all of us after hearing of his tragic loss. Jose recently sat down with Tarik El Bashir to talk about his son's death and the charity he founded in November, Saves for Kids. The funds raised through Saves for Kids will go to the neonatal intensive care unit at Children's National Medical Center.

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