Saturday, March 9, 2019

An Unforgettable Experience

I’m not even sure where to begin...

Anyone that knows me knows that the Boston Bruins are my #1 passion. They are my biggest distraction from pain and quite literally keep me going. There is hardly a day that goes by that I am not covered head to toe in black and gold, and I would not have it any other way.

It has somehow worked out that every December since 2010 I have had surgery at Boston Children's Hospital, and every year I have missed the Bruins visit by 2-3 days. However, this past December, while inpatient following surgery, I had the pleasure of meeting 4 players (Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, and Steven Kampfer). It was such an incredible experience to be able to meet them, and certainly put a smile on my face for the rest of the week while I recovered. We talked about the game the night before against Arizona, and when Chara asked me what I thought I told them I wasn't pleased with the team turnovers, despite the 4-3 win. On the way out, Marchand said: “I’ll think of you yelling at me on TV every time I turn the puck over.”

For Christmas, Shane bought me tickets to the Bruins/Hurricanes on March 5th. As a joke, I sent a tweet to Brad Marchand asking him to limit the turnovers while I’m at the game with a picture from the hospital visit. I didn’t expect him to see my tweet nor did I expect a response. I also didn't think he would remember me. But he did respond and offered me passes to say hi after the game.

The tweet that started it all....
As if that weren't generous enough, he also invited me to the games on Thursday and Saturday as well (I went 3/3). He provided each of us with a signed Winter Classic jersey and took us on a tour of the locker room. He hooked me up with Winter Classic gear and stopped every single Bruins player that walked by so that he could introduce them to us. He even made sure that I got a picture with Patrice Bergeron (and then chirped me for not being able to find words...I got better as the week went on though). His wife Katrina was incredible as well. She even visited us during intermission of Thursday’s game against the Panthers and it has been such a privilege getting to know her during this experience.

I really do not have words to describe the level of appreciation I have for Brad and Katrina. They went above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined. To be able to share this experience with my brother, cousin, and best friend was also special. I only wish that my dad could have been there with me as well. It’s been a rough year, but this was without question the best experience of my life. It was truly unforgettable.

To Brad and Katrina,

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything. I will cherish this week for the rest of my life. You are both amazing.

Keep it rolling! Go Bruins!

With the greatest appreciation and gratitude,

Bruins/Hurricanes with my brother and cousin
Brad Marchand #63
Patrice Bergeron #37

Marchand, Bergeron, Chara...what a crew!
Shane and I with Marchy!

Marchand #63 and McAvoy #73

He's the best!

Bruins/Panthers with my brother and Steve

Pastrnak, Kampfer (I met him in the hospital), DeBrusk

37 + 63 = 100!

Shawn Thornton

Group shot!

Bruins/Senators with my brother and best friend!

[For those interested, I wrote an article in 2014 about what hockey means to me from a health perspective- Hockey is the Best Medicine].

Eric Russo from the Boston Bruins wrote this article about the experience: Marchand Makes A Dream Come True


I was born in Connecticut, though my dad was born in Massachusetts; therefore, you could say that I was born into a Boston sports family. My dad taught me all about the Bruins. Not only did he teach me the game and share with me his favorite Bruins memories dating back to the days of Bobby Orr, but because of the Bruins I shared an incredible bond with my dad. Our collective passion for Boston sports, and specifically the Bruins, is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I lost my dad to cancer in 2016. Now when I watch the Bruins, I know he is with me, just in a different way. I still feel a connection to my dad when I watch every game. 


  1. Amazing. So happy for you Jill. I am a new Bruins fan as a result of this. Very special!!! Your dad was there with you every moment of this incredible experience!!! Love you girl. MURPHY STRONG. xoxoxo

  2. your dad raised you right. GO Bruins!

  3. Greetings from St. Louis and fellow EDS-er and avid hockey fan. Reading your story brought me to tears. Your strength and preserverance is indescribable. ❤️