suntimes
CRISP 
Weather Updates

Blackhawks visit Lurie Children’s Hospital

Updated: December 12, 2013 9:51PM



Mackenzie Sherwood was standing with her father, Rich, by the 12th-floor window of the Family Life Center at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago when Kris Versteeg and Niklas Hjalmarsson walked in.

Mackenzie, a 12-year-old from Elmwood Park who is suffering from unknown lesions on her spine, smiled a wide and toothy grin at the two Blackhawks.

“They’re really nice and it was fun to hang out with them,” Mackenzie said.

Versteeg, Hjalmarsson and teammates Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad were at Lurie on Thursday to drop off toys donated by fans at the Blackhawks’ first three home games of December. They also stayed around and visited with the children at the hospital where the Blackhawks have brought the Stanley Cup after their two recent titles.

“It was nice. She’s been in here for about a week or better now,” Rich said of his daughter, who picked up a scrapbooking kit. “She doesn’t want to be here but has to be here, so just to see her smile again was nice to see.”

Hjalmarsson struggled to open a Spider-Man action figure while Versteeg colored in a hockey player with other patients between times handing out toys. Kane and Saad, meanwhile, visited the floor for oncology patients and made bedside visits to see kids who weren’t able to go to common areas.

“I think it humbles you, that’s for sure. Sometimes you might think you have some hard times where things aren’t going as well as you want it to in life, and to come here for a day and see what it’s all about,” Kane said. “It definitely humbles you and brings you down to earth a little bit.”

The Blackhawks have similar plans next week to visit NorthShore

Hospital in Evanston.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.