St. Louis Blues Fan Laila Anderson, Inspiration During Team’s 2019 Stanley Cup Run, Pumps Enterprise Center Crowd Up Ahead of Game 6

NHL

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.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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.

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.

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

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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2 Responses to St. Louis Blues Fan Laila Anderson, Inspiration During Team’s 2019 Stanley Cup Run, Pumps Enterprise Center Crowd Up Ahead of Game 6

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    That was a great moment to see. Heartbreaking series loss for the Blues, though

  2. DanielleinDC says:

    I hope she enjoys continued good health. The end, though must have been heartbreaking for her and the rest of the Blues community.

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