In September, Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrana participated in the ninth-annual charity tournament at the Beroun Golf Resort in Prague for the Pink Bubble Endowment Fund, a non-profit organization in the Czech Republic that helps support children and young adults battling cancer. Supported by Czech entrepreneurs and athletes, which included the NHL’s Vrana and Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, the fund raised a record of 642,000 CZK (about $28,000 USD). But the story begins earlier than that. In this exclusive NoVa Caps piece, we’ll take a look at a boy named Ondra, who had his wishes fulfilled by Vrana in June through Pink Bubble’s “The Fulfilled Wish” project.
Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, thirteen-year-old Ondra was a keen hockey player in the Czech Republic. He was also a major fan of the Capitals and dreamed of meeting Vrana one day. By the end of last year, Ondra completed his active oncology treatment and was ready to return to his day-to-day life.
Although Ondra was doing fine, he was not as self-assured about playing again. Ondra doubted whether he was strong enough and would be good enough for his team.
So, his father decided to cheer Ondra up by a surprise meeting with his hero, Jakub Vrana, and asked the Pink Bubble Foundation for help. The organization runs many projects helping young cancer survivors to better cope with their situation. One of those projects is called “The Fulfilled Wish”.
In the beginning, Ondra’s wish seemed to be the mission impossible due to the NHL returning play and the COVID-19 pandemic at hand, which did not allow for easy traveling. Vrana did arrive in Prague eventually and stayed much longer than he planned. With great help from the Jakub Voracek Foundation (more here), the two guys finally met in June.
Vrana brought Ondra a 2018 Stanley Cup Champions baseball cap and a jersey signed by the entire Capitals team. Martina Smukova, the founder of the Pink Bubble Foundation, said it was a “touching” moment. “He made time for Ondra, took him aside and they talked for a really long time. Ondra was the happiest boy in the world and I believe it has lasted until now.”
Photos by Martina Smukova/Pink Bubble Foundation
By Della Young
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@jakubvrana je frajer 😍. Moc děkujeme, že nám pomohl udělat radost třináctiletému Ondrovi! 🤚Dvanáctiletý Ondra ukončil před časem onkologickou léčbu ve FN Motol. Sám si od Pink Bubble původně nic nepřál, prý proto, že jsou děti, které to potřebují víc. Ondra je hokejista, hokej miluje a jeho nejoblíbenějším hráčem je Jakub Vrána z @capitals . Takže když nám později napsal Ondrův táta, který chtěl syna podpořit v návratu na led a vůbec do běžného cvrkotu života, že Ondrovým snem je se s Jakubem Vránou potkat, nastartovala naše Bublina turbo a v červnu se díky několika úžasným lidem povedl malý zázrak.🤩 Upřímně, ke splnění tohoto snu bylo potřeba spojit síly hned z několika stran, protože nám do cesty vstoupilo pár překážek. Děkujeme za obrovskou pomoc naší kamarádce Lence Dominikové a @nadace_jakuba_voracka , setkání kluků je totiž i jejich zásluha 🙌. Mějme se všichni hezky a nepřestávejme si navzájem dělat radost ❤️! . #praniodbubliny #pinkbubble #hokej #washingtoncapitals #ondra #setkani #jakubvrana #nadacejakubavoracka #pomoc #onkobojovnik #splnenisnu #dekujeme 💕