In the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, the St. Louis Blues captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the Boston Bruins in seven games. Aside from the team’s run to the Cup, the biggest story surrounding the team involved a then-11-year old girl named Laila Anderson.
Laila’s story motivated the Blues throughout the spring and early summer of 2019, after the young Blues fan was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in her brain, a systemic inflammatory syndrome which affects the immune system and can be fatal. When the Blues captured the Stanley Cup in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, Laila was on the ice to help lift the prized trophy.
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Now playing hockey herself, and living life like a teenager not affected by her condition, which she says will never be considered cured, she is otherwise healthy.
In Episode 1 of Quest For The Stanley Cup, we catch up with @StLouisBlues fan Laila Anderson who reminisces about her inspirational support during the team’s 2019 #StanleyCup run and her road to recovery from a rare autoimmune disease.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 27, 2022
On Friday night, ahead of St. Louis’ Game 6 matchup against the Colorado Avalanche (who lead the series 3-2), Laila pumped up the Enterprise Center faithful.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) May 28, 2022
Laila Anderson’s story touched not only the Blues and City of St. Louis, but the NHL community as a whole. The love of the game kept a young girl who had already undergone bone marrow transplants for a health condition that affects roughly one out of every 50,000-100,000 children a year, according to St. Jude’s Children Hospital, going through all that she had to endure. It is why the saying “Hockey is more than a game” reverberates so loudly.
By Michael Fleetwood