Sharks Host Layla Malone at Practice – San Jose – NHL.com
When asked who her favorite Sharks players are Layla Malone, 9, smiles and says, “I like Oskar Lindblom…because he went through treatment like me.”
Lindblom and Layla unfortunately share a similar experience in that they have both been diagnosed with cancer and undergone treatment. They fortunately have since both made a full recovery.
Lindblom was diagnosed on Dec. 10, 2019, with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer and celebrated two years cancer-free on July 2.
Layla was diagnosed on Sept. 1, 2020, with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at the age of seven and has been going through treatment since.
As part of the Sharks Hockey Fights Cancer initiative Layla recently visited the Sharks for practice to meet the team, talk with Oskar and help celebrate her own treatment coming to an end.
Layla, who is the daughter of Sharks Director, Business Intelligence Tim Malone, received her last chemo doses on Nov. 9 and will ring the bell, signifying the successful end of treatment, on Nov. 21.
She also wanted to come to practice to meet the team before she drops the puck, to Lindblom, on Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Kaiser Permanente on November 17.
“It’s amazing,” Lindblom said after talking with Layla. “To hear that she is doing her last treatment tomorrow (Nov. 9) and in a week is going to ring that bell, it feels amazing. I’ve got chills on my body just to hear about it.”
He said he likes talking with kids in similar situations to give them tips and tricks that he learned during his own treatment and to answer any questions they may have.
The left wing, who isn’t usually apart of face-offs, might be even more excited about the puck drop on Saturday than Layla.
“Yeah, it’s going to be amazing. Seeing her walking out there, I don’t think she’s going to understand how big it is but it’s going to be huge for everyone but especially her. She looks so strong and so positive so it’s fun to see,” Lindblom said.
While Layla’s already gone through more than most by the age of 9, she’s just like every kid visiting a Sharks practice. When asked what her favorite part was, Layla said getting the sticks and pucks to take home. Luke Kunin was the first to hand over an extra stick and Lindblom followed up with his own after signing it for her.
Saturday is sure to be a special night for Layla, the Malone family, Lindblom and everyone taking in the moment at The Tank.
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