A family of big Anaheim Ducks fans got what they thought was a private skate at Honda Center until a party crasher joined them.
The party crasher was Teemu Selanne.
Vanessa Upton, a breast cancer patient, and her family got a big surprise from the this season’s 21st Duck, Angelique Fong, on Wednesday.
Fong, a two-time breast cancer survivor, was named the 21st Duck earlier this season and got the news from captain Ryan Getzlaf via video call. She was bestowed the honor after she began her “Radiate Kindness” program, where she performed 33 acts of kindness to go along with her 33 radiation treatments.
In the latest kind gesture, Fong hosted the Upton family for a skate at Honda Center. She presented them with jerseys and then out came their Hall of Fame instructor for the day in Selanne.
“It was just awesome to come out here and make these memories for them,” said an emotional Upton. “This last year and a half has been really hard. And so, to be able to have this, it’s been awesome. I’m just really glad that they were able to come out here and get out of the house and come here and do this.”
Selanne took the ice, chatted with the family and gave the kids some hockey pointers. At one point, he even rode the ice seal for beginner skaters, pushed along by Fong.
“We just had amazing time,” said Fong. “All really that we all want is to have the kids be happy and to make memories for a lifetime. It’s obvious that that’s what took place today… To be able to see their faces light up… I’m so honored to have been a part of it.”
“So many memories have been made in this arena. It’s just really special for the Ducks to do this,” she said. “And give us these memories of this time spent together. It really makes a difference, because there are not many things that they will remember forever.”