In a tearjerker of a story, the San Jose Sharks and Make-A-Wish Foundation teamed up to help 17-year-old Sam Tageson live out an NHL dream on Tuesday.
Tageson lives with a life-threatening condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, where he was born with two heart chambers rather than four. The syndrome is supposed to keep him from playing hockey, but he's gone against the advice of doctors to play the sport he loves ever since he was a 6-year-old boy, as reported by the San Jose Mercury News.
"It's supposed to be debilitating," his mother Lisa Mills told the paper. "They said he would be the child that would never ride a bicycle, never do any of that. He rides a skateboard. He plays hockey. The doctors all through the years have said give him golf clubs, take the hockey stick away. We tried. It doesn't work."
On Tuesday, not only did he play hockey, he played it at the highest level as a member of the Sharks. Tageson signed a one-day contract and participated in team activities throughout the day. He was even given the opportunity to suit up in a Sharks uniform, equipped with a GoPro camera attached to his helmet to help capture his magic moment, and skate on the ice.
"You can feel how excited he is, it's awesome," Sharks center Logan Couture said in an interview posted on the team's website.
After becoming the first non-player to skate through the inflatable Sharks head before the game, Tageson took a spot on the bench and was introduced to a the crowd. The tears of joy that followed were priceless.