Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is having something — or someone — special to play for.
For T.J. Oshie of the Washington Capitals, he’s been inspired to play well for a 10-year-old girl with cancer as his team takes on the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Capitals currently lead the series 2-1, and Oshie believes some of that has to do with his good luck charm, Addy Flint, a 10-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia. Oshie and Flint first met in November 2016 at the Capitals’ Hockey Fights Cancer skate for children from Make-A-Wish’s Mid-Atlantic chapter.
The two were paired at the event and immediately struck a bond.
“Right away, we just started chatting,” Oshie told NHL.com. “She wasn’t shy asking me questions, and usually it’s the other way around. They’re usually quiet. We just hit it off right away and I thought she was a really special girl, a really awesome family. We just became friends.”
Flint was first diagnosed with kidney cancer when she was 4. Her cancer went into remission, but it reemerged in 2017. “She just didn’t seem like a person who could be kept down by anything,” Oshie said. “I’m a very positive guy and I thought that was an amazing quality for her to have in her situation. She’s always smiling.”
After the two first hit it off, they continued corresponding through text messages, social media, and email. Flint has gone to see Oshie play twice, both times wearing her lucky ladybug earrings.
They must have worked, as the Capitals have won both games she’s attended.
The most recent game Flint attended was Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on May 19, and Oshie scored the winning goal.
Flint recently stopped her chemotherapy treatments because they were too strong for her weakened immune system, so watching the Capitals play is a much-needed reprieve from the stress of her illness.
“I’m worried about getting sick again, and watching the Caps makes me forget it,” she told NHL.com. “It gives me something to focus on. I love watching the games, especially T.J.”
Flint has an appointment with her doctor in the first week of June to see if her cancer is in remission.
Share image by Washington Capitals/YouTube.