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On Sunday, April 13th, one of our House Heroes’ dreams came true when professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler paid a visit to her hospital room.

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Elise Kwan, a 17-year-old from southern Alberta, has been in hospital since August 2013 struggling with heart failure. She recently underwent countless open heart surgeries and two brain surgeries. Elise has not let these challenges interfere with her education; she plans to graduate this June with honours. Looking forward to the big day, Elise made a statement on her Facebook wall that she hoped that her hero, Ryan Sheckler, would accompany her to the graduation. Since Ryan’s competition schedule would not allow him to travel to Edmonton in June, The Ryan Sheckler Foundation and RMHNA collaborated to make a surprise hospital visit happen.

The big day arrived, and Elise’s family, who was in on the secret surprise, conspired to have Elise’s graduation photos taken in the hospital garden that morning so that Elise would be unsuspectingly dressed up for the special visit. She had been told that Ryan had sent a special package for her. While he was exploring the contents of the special parcel (a beautiful new watch, sunglasses, and other goodies), Ryan himself came around the corner. Her shock and excitement mixed in delighted screams, then stunned silence as she realized that her hero had come just to see her.

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Elise’s hospital room was packed with family and a few friends who warmly greeted Ryan and his team (mother, Gretchen, Executive Assistant Angelique, and videographer, John). After introductions, photos, and the sharing of a few stories, all but family left the room and Elise and Ryan enjoyed some conversation and time together. Many photos, a few selfies, some hugs and lots of laughter truly made Elise’s dream come true.

Ryan and his amazing team made their way to RMHNA to share some joy with House families, sign some autographs and tour the House. Families had been told that a ‘special visitor’ was coming, and the kids were trying very hard to guess who it might be. Ryan posed for several photos as he autographed posters and mini skateboards for the kids, and then enjoyed a House tour to better understand what the House does.

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