Story by: Kelly Tracer - UCHealth
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Ten-year-old Kolemen Gairrett wasn’t able to go trick-or-treating with his buddies this year.
More than 500 miles from his home in Columbus, Montana, he is in Fort Collins undergoing radiation treatment for anaplastic ependymoma, a type of brain cancer, at UCHealth Cancer Center – Harmony Campus.
But, his care team at UCHealth teamed up the Colorado Eagles to cook up a special Halloween treat for Kolemen.
Four Eagles players stopped by the cancer center to surprise Kolemen after his treatment session Wednesday afternoon. They came toting the Kelly Cup trophy filled with candy and a few other exciting surprises up their sleeves: an Eagles T-shirt and hat, a hockey puck and enough tickets to Saturday’s game against the Tucson Roadrunners in Loveland for Kolemen and his family to attend together.
“It’s very important to give back to the community,” said Colorado Eagles team captain Mark Alt. “We’d like to make someone’s Halloween special today.”
Alt and defenseman Mason Geertsen, defenseman Ryan Graves and goaltender Spencer Martin autographed the hat and hockey puck and chatted with Kolemen about hockey and baseball following the big surprise.
The special visit from the Eagles tops off a fun Halloween week for Kolemen, who also was treated to a VIP experience at last weekend’s Colorado State University football game against University of Wyoming, thanks to UCHealth’s partnership with the organization.
“No one wants to miss out on Halloween – especially a 10-year-old,” said JoAnn Lovins, senior director of UCHealth’s cancer care services in northern Colorado. “We are thrilled that our partners at the Colorado Eagles and CSU were as excited as we were to give Kolemen and his family a Halloween to remember.”
The added touches have made a big difference for Kolemen and his family as he receives treatment so far from family and friends, according his mother, Lindy Gairrett.
“It makes him have a positive in his day versus the worry or not feeling great and missing home,” she said. “It’s a little bit of light in the day to keep pushing through to the next stage. It’s been fantastic.”
UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. UCHealth combines Longs Peak Hospital, Yampa Valley Medical Center, Memorial Hospital Central, Memorial Hospital North, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, UCHealth Medical Group, Broomfield Hospital, Grandview Hospital, Pikes Peak Regional Hospital and University of Colorado Hospital into an organization dedicated to health and providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. With more than 150 clinic locations, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.