Monday, October 18, 2010

In the streets of Philadelphia

Nick here...

So as many of you know... I like to have things to look forward to after every round of chemo to help me stay positive and remind myself why I keep fighting cancer. Its because of the wonderful moments in life that that put a smile on your face.... at least thats what it is for me.

Anyways, during my previous round of chemo I realized that I didn't have anything planned for my good week which was this past week. I soon started to look up the Pittsburgh Penguins game schedule online and saw that they were playing the Philadelphia Flyers on the 16th, and I knew that my Mom and Lee have some connections out in Philadelphia. One is Michael Rouse and he has always been extremely nice to my family and I, as well as help out with Wacky Warriors when we came out to Philly last year and ran the Broad St Run. The other is Matt Rosenberg, who is also a great guy and friend of Lee's.

Soon after planting the seed in their heads that I wanted to go out and see my favorite professional sports team play out in Philly, I heard from a close friend of mine that they had arranged for a chance to ride a BULL if I still wanted to do it (it is something I have wanted to do for a while). I told them I sure did and wanted them to do it as well (4 of them). Unfortunately those plans fell through at the last minute, but it seems this was a good thing because my platelets were pretty low (I found this out the day after the scheduled bull ride).

Even though the bull ride didn't happen, my family and I did make it out to Philly to see the game. Lee, Mom, Kelsey, Carly and I all flew out Thursday night excited to see a good game of pro hockey on Saturday night. Matt made hotel arrangements and also provided us with tickets to the hockey game - CLUB SUITE!

Tour bus - notice Carly & Nick in the background...

In front of the Ben Franklin Museum Kelsey & Nick in a cockpit
We spent Friday doing bus tours and seeing the city which is full of history just like Boston. We then finished off the day at dinner with Michael. Did I say he is a great guy? We then woke up Saturday and were off to visit the Benjamin Franklin Museum, but not before we had a Philly Cheesesteak. The museum had a flight simulator, which I had to do. Carly decided to be my co-pilot which she found to be a little more than she expected. Everyone outside the simulator could here Carly's screams and my laughs but it was all smiles when the doors opened back up. People were laughing when we came out..... it was great.


And after...We then took off for the hockey game........ which was amazing. Why, you may ask? Well let me tell you:

1. The Penguins won 5-1
2. My favorite player had 3 pts (2 goals 1 assist)
3. I got to go in the Flyers locker room after the game. Now about #3..... I found out the night before from Michael that I would get to go in the locker room after the game. So I made sure I didn't wear Penguins clothing to the game. Anyways, just before the end of the game, the PR guy (Zack) for the Flyers grabbed us and took us to the locker room. My sisters and Mom never made it in till after the players had left due to a good chance of nudity... HA. However Lee and I did go and it was very easy to see the loss in all the players faces. They weren't happy at all. I was able to witness how the post game interviews work with all the press and journalists with the players. Chris Pronger (a soon to be Hall of Famer) had his interview last because he had to ice his knees. I was told that I would get to meet him, but expected it would happen after the interview. Oh no.... not with Pronger.

Pronger: He simply told the reporters to "MOVE" as he walked over to me and shook my hand. At 6'6" and 220 lbs, he towered over me. I honestly don't remember the words he said to me.... probably due to his intimidation factor (he is also known as one of the most "aggressive" players in the league) but he was a super nice guy and even took a couple pictures with me before talking to the press, which he called "vultures". He then waved and said "good luck" and was off to ice his knees some more I assume. Soon after, I took pictures with another player on the Flyers due to his ironic name.... Kimmo (Chemo) Timonen. He was a nice guy, too, but didn't say much. It was a great experience and I definitely won't forget it.... especially Pronger. Thank you, Lee, Michael & Matt for making this happen!

Hope you like the pictures!

1 comment:

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Nick and family,
More blessings! Praise God whose hands and feet are evident in Michael Rouse, low platelets (I'm glad you didn't ride a bull), Zack, Pronger, hockey players, and family. Glad you have a fun safe trip. May God cover you with more of his earthly hands and feet as you receive Kimmo (an appropriate new spelling since chemo makes you feel like you just played a hockey game)this week. Amen.
Love, aunt Chris