It was a big day for 6-year-old Will McLeod of Valley Village, who got some ice time with (and a guided tour from) his hero, Dustin Brown. Will is undergoing treatment for acute lymphatic leukemia, and through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Will, his 8-year-old brother, Mac, and his parents, Rob and Indira, were the invited guests of the Kings today.
This morning, Will and his family got a limousine ride to El Segundo. After practice, Will took the ice, skated and shot pucks with Brown, along with Jonathan Bernier and Kevin Westgarth, who stayed on the ice to participate. Afterward, Will and his family got a tour of the facility from Brown and, at the end, Will was greeted with a basket full of Kings memorabilia and his own jersey (No. 23, of course).
Brown and his wife, Nicole, are the parents of two young sons, and Brown has been a two-time finalist for the NHL Foundation Award, signifying his dedication to charity work.
Will, who is in remission, bounced around the facility with his brother while his parents watched and enjoyed.
“It’s been great,” Indira McLeod said. “It’s been wonderful. He’s had just such a blast. He and his brother are having so much fun.
“He’s been through so much. Our whole family has been through so much, both of my kids. This is just sort of a culmination, the light at the end of the tunnel, kind of. It’s been a long road. His treatment has been for three years, and even still, he has to go every month, he has to get labs every month. I said to him today, `You know why you’re getting this? Because of everything you’ve been through.’ And his brother too, because he’s had to endure a lot. For him, this has just been something special to look forward to.”