Connolly joins the Winnipeg Jets

Outgoing, inquisitive, intelligent, engaging, talkative – these are just a few words we’d use to describe Connolly, a 10-year old boy, who recently had his once-in-a-lifetime wish granted. Connolly went through brain surgery after being diagnosed with a tumour on his brain stem, hydrocephalus (excess fluid on his brain) and syrinx (a fluid-filled cavity in his spinal cord). Connolly’s condition was discovered when one of his brothers (Connolly and his brothers are triplets) suffered a concussion in a hockey game and entered a concussion study group at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Connolly was asked to participate in the study as the “healthy” baseline brain which they would compare to the concussed brain. The MRI on Connolly’s brain led to the discovery of his serious medical conditions.

Despite his diagnosis, Connolly never gave up his love of hockey and his wish was to join the Winnipeg Jets NHL team. He was especially excited to meet his favourite player, Adam Lowry. Connolly was adamant that his brothers be included in his wish experience and every time he was asked about his wish he requested that his brothers be able to do the same things he would be doing. When we asked Connolly why he wanted to include his brothers in all aspects of his wish, he said, “I love them and also I didn’t want them to feel left out as they are Jets fans too, though not as big a fan as me.”

Connolly, along with his brothers and their parents, travelled to Winnipeg, where they were greeted at the airport by Mick E. Moose, a mascot sent by the Jets to welcome Connolly to the city.

Later, “Chevy”, the General Manager of the Jets, welcomed Connolly to the team and signed him to a two-day NHL contract, making Connolly the youngest Winnipeg Jet in the team’s history! Connolly’s mom said that watching her son on the ice, practicing with the Jets and hanging out with his new teammates was a priceless experience and definitely helped Connolly get over the loss of his own hockey season due to his health issues.

According to Connolly and his family, the entire weekend was “more than we could ever have hoped for, or dreamed of.”

Connolly is doing well and his family hopes that he will be able to play hockey in the upcoming season. His mom Aisling said that the memories of his wish experience help improve his mood, even on his toughest days.

Thank you to the Winnipeg Jets for their generosity and for making Connolly’s wish an unforgettable experience.

When a wish is granted, it does much more than bring joy to a child’s heart. For kids like Connolly, who are faced with life-threatening medical conditions, a wish-come-true provides them with strength to battle through darkness and gives them hope for healthier, happier days ahead. 
Be part of the magic and transform the lives of children facing life-threatening medical conditions. Help grant a wish by donating today.   

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