Love and the New York Rangers

I am not a hockey fan. But here is a hockey story that inspired me.

Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated wrote an article about a nine-year old little girl named Taylor Ryan who suffers from a neurodegenerative disease known as Langerhans cell histiocytosis. “Histio” is very rare so there is very little research or treatment for the disease.

While undergoing chemotherapy in a Long Island hospital, Taylor got a visit from Adam Graves, a former NHL All-Star who now works in the front office of the New York Rangers. Interestingly, Taylor wasn’t a hockey fan, but saw him anyway.

Rushin writes, “Taylor sometimes dreads going to sleep for fear she won’t wake up. Now, 12, she’s a frequent visitor to the Ranger’s locker room. ‘Without this team,’ says her mom, ‘I don’t know how she would have gotten through the last three years.’”

When Adam delivered a birthday cake to a suite at Madison Square Garden where Taylor was watching a Ranger’s game, she said, “Adam, I never thought I would turn 10.” How sad for a little girl to think in such a manner.

The Rangers for their part have reached out and been kind to Taylor. Dan Girardi, a defenseman, gave Taylor a game jersey, which she displays proudly. She has been to a host of games and has visited the locker room.

On one of her worst days, Taylor said, “I really hate histio. I wish I never had it.” But, she added, “I wouldn’t make that wish. Because if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t have Adam in my life.”

These words of Taylor Ryan brought me to tears as I read the article. She wouldn’t make her wish, because histio allowed her to meet someone who has loved her and made an impact in her life.

My mind turned to our church motto based on the Great Commandment of Jesus. “Loving God, loving others. Make a difference!”

The story of Taylor Ryan serves as an example of how a truth of God, no matter who applies or receives it, will result in blessings. I have no idea where either Taylor or Adam stand regarding faith. But I do know that when we love others; we can make a difference in their lives. It is the way we were created to be by God.

We, as Christians, can love others and help them receive an even greater gift of love, the gift of knowing Jesus and receiving eternal life.

Is there a Taylor Ryan somewhere in our lives?

Something to think about …