About a month ago, while I was playing Louie the Lion at an Edmonton Oil Kings game, one of the ushers asked me if I had a minute to meet a family from the Ronald McDonald House. I was more than happy to oblige and met our special guests: a dad with his son, daughter, and their mom with a new baby in her arms.
While introducing myself as Louie the Lion, Jordan, the little one who was going through chemotherapy, interrupted yelling in a pretty upbeat manner for Louie to look at his head. Running his hand over his shaved head he announced that it wasn’t JUST a haircut it was CHEMO, man!
We took a few pictures, had some laughs and hugs. After saying goodbye to Jordan, his dad Scott thanked me and gave me a very firm hug. He told me that his son Jordan was stronger than him and that he needed this day more than Jordan did. The tears were rolling down my cheeks under the lion head, but outside Louie stood tall gave some high-fives and went on his way.
That moment and that family made such an impact, a few days later I called the Edmonton Ronald McDonald House. I didn’t remember their names at the time, but the person answering quickly knew I was talking about Jordan and Scott. I explained how the experience had touched me and how grateful I was that the Ronald McDonald House allowed me (as Louie) the opportunity to meet this amazing and strong family. I told them I wanted to be involved again and asked how I could include my ENMAX Energy team. I was immediately introduced to Kristin and Matt who helped us plan, prepare and serve lunch on December 7 to the families staying at Ronald McDonald House.
At lunch on that day, I asked again about the family I met at the Oil Kings game. Each staff member knew immediately that I was talking about Jordan. They pointed out Scott, Jordan’s dad, and I went over to introduced myself and tell him I was Louie. I’ll never forget the instant smile and hug I got. Scott introduced me to his wife and their new baby, then we sat for 10 to 15 minutes exchanging our stories. We both felt such incredible gratitude for being able to make Jordan’s day out with his family so special. A day that we both would never forget.
Thank you Ronald McDonald House for everything you do and for welcoming me and my team into your family today and many days to come.
-Dave Wright, also known as Louie the Lion
Louie visiting another one of our House Heroes on December 9, 2016.