Sens make Christmas merry for sick kids


Thirteen-year-old Hiba Allam has the ultimate Christmas gift for her brothers: autographs from the Ottawa Senators.

The Sens made their annual visit to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Wednesday, meeting with patients and their families.

“Everybody’s, like, speechless,” said Allam, a Bells Corners resident.

Leukemia has kept her in hospital for six months, but getting to meet the players had her smiling.

“I find all of them very special, and they’re very, very nice people,” she said.

Chelsea Okankwu, 12, attends Immaculata High School.

She entered the hospital Saturday to treat sickle cell anemia, which she’s had for 11 years.

While soccer is her sport of choice, she digs Jason Spezza, and even got to take a photo with him, which she said will be going on Facebook.

She was even bold enough to tell Spezza she thinks he’s cute.

“He said, ‘uh ,thanks.’ It was kind of awkward, but it was still OK. At least I got to meet him,” she said.

Spezza says visiting the hospital is something the players look forward to.

“You see how positive they are and how much positive energy they have and how nothing kind of gets the kids down. It’s great to see the perspective they have on things,” said Spezza.


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