Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sens Look to Win For Littlest Fan

This one really got to me folks. I'm sure it will do the same for you.

Littlest fan's final joy sees Ottawa Senators off to Cup

Katie Lewis, with files from Ken Warren, Ottawa Citizen CanWest News Service

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CREDIT: CanWest files

OTTAWA -- In the end, it was a hockey game Elgin-Alexander Fraser was not going to miss.

The three-year-old spent his last hours at home, nestled between family and friends on a mattress on the living-room floor in front of the television watching the Ottawa Senators reach the Stanley Cup finals.

His right lung had collapsed and he breathed loudly, wheezing. When it became too hard to keep his heavy-lidded eyes open, because of the morphine, his family whispered the play-by-plays to him.

"Go if you want to go now bud," said his father, Hamish Fraser to his wee son, who weighed just over 30 pounds. "You don't have to hang on."

But that night, Elgin saw the Senators win.

Two hours later, as his mother and father tightly held his hands and told him they loved him, he softly closed his eyes.

Afterwards, his mother Victoria Fraser washed him, clipped his nails and dressed him in a grey Senators jogging suit. She then cradled him in her arms for over an hour.

"Everything that happened just seemed to fall into place and everything felt right at that moment," she said.

Elgin died of a rare form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, and had captured the emotions of thousands who raised funds to fight cancer at charity events for him.

"He went peacefully," said his father, adding that his son loved hockey "more than anything," and was the Senator's biggest fan.

And they loved him too.

Elgin met the Senators after his family was introduced to Chris Phillips, a defenceman and father of two, and his wife, Erin Phillips, through mutual friends.

In April, Elgin found himself in a front-row seat at a practice as part of one of his final wishes. At the time, Mr. Fisher held Elgin while skating around the ice. Elgin also got a tour of the dressing room. Since then, Elgin had been to more than eight Senators games, including their final home game against the Buffalo Sabres last Wednesday.

Elgin's father said his son's room is littered with Senators paraphernalia -- from jerseys, to hockey sticks, to goalie masks."He loved to tear around and pretend to be players on the team," he said.

On Thursday, Senators centre Mike Fisher visited Elgin at home in Carleton Place, Ont. They watched a movie and played with toy cars, because Elgin was too weak to pick up his hockey stick.

Fraser talked to his son on the phone during the visit and asked Elgin to ask Fisher if the Senators were going to win the Stanley Cup.

"Okay, Dad, hold on," said Elgin over the phone.

"Mike," said Elgin, "You're going to win the Stanley Cup, right?"

"We sure are buddy," came the reply.

"Dad, he said yes," said Elgin, recalled Fraser.

Sunday, Fisher said he was saddened by the news and that he had thought about Elgin before the hockey game on Saturday night.

"The impact he had on me was incredible. With the things he went through and how well he handled them," said Fisher. "I was blessed to spend some time with him. He's in a better place, for sure."

Elgin was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system, when he was nine months old. He went through a flurry of treatments, radiation, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant and finally went into remission. Bad news came in January, as the cancer came back as the growing tumours took over his stomach and vertebrae.

By the end, Elgin's back was almost a solid mass of tumours, with fluid leaking into his lungs.

His doctors had told his family on Monday they didn't expect him to make it through the weekend.

Despite his pain, Elgin still managed to go to the Senators game on Wednesday, along with his mother, father and eight-month-old sister Alysston.

The brave little boy was decked out in his red Senators jersey, a sawed off hockey stick clenched tight in his hand.

"He didn't take his eyes off the game," said Fraser.

After the game, Elgin met some of the players, including Fisher, Ray Emery and Chris Phillips.

Phillips told Elgin that night that the Senators were going to win the next game on Saturday for him.

They did.

Elgin's funeral will be held on Thursday at the Carleton Place Arena.


If you're not in tears yet, watch this TSN report, and you will be.

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