On December 19, 2015 Peyton’s Pals hosted their 3rd annual Birthday blood drive. While Peyton and her parents were working the check-in desk two boys arrived. They caught the parents attention because they were high school age (17), the youngest donors they have ever had at their drive before. We asked the boys how they heard about the drive and we’re told the Red Cross called about upcoming drives so we signed up. After it was brought to Peyton’s attention that the boys played hockey she was a chatter box. The boys donated blood and they slipped out before we could say goodbye. 30 minutes later they boys returned, with something hidden behind their back. The boys then presented Peyton with a Red Wings foam stick and ball, they said she seemed bored and they wanted her to have something to play with. After proper goodbyes and hugs from Peyton the boys left again. I then posted a message on Facebook that evening that generated a very big applaud for the boys kind hearts.
After a few weeks we were contacted by Noah Kudla. Noah explained that the team talked and decided if we were interested they wanted to hold a DBA awareness charity hockey game. We were honored by the teams plans. Noah contacted us on our way home from the clinic appointment that we were told Peyton’s blood counts had dropped quite a bit and that she would be going back on steroids. The distraction from this upcoming game was just what we needed to have something positive to look forward to. Peyton started back on high does steroids and a week before the DBA game she had her first transfusion in just under 2 years.
Feb 6, 2016- The Allen Park Varsity Hockey team hosted the “DBA Awareness charity game” and blood drive. The blood drive was a huge success and they exceeded their goal. Upon Peyton’s arrival the spoiling started. Courtney the team manager was the first to spoil her with a bag of goodies and a AP knit hat. Noah and Cameron then greeted Peyton and family and soon took us to the team locker room to meet the team. After meeting the team the boys presented Peyton with a signed stick by the entire team, a pair of hockey gloves, and a Jags jersey with Peyton’s name and number 1 on the back. As we went back to the locker to be a part of the team pep talk we had a surprise for the team. See Peyton’s uncle is current Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill. Uncle Jeff, Aunt Erica, and Peyton’s cousins Teddy, Josie, and Owen were in attendance at the game. When Jeff heard of everything the team did for Peyton he asked to address the team himself. So we took Coach Blashill to the locker room and boy was the team shocked. After a great speech from Uncle Jeff the team was headed to the ice. Coach Blashill high fived each player as they went through their tunnel. During the first intermission the team took Peyton on the ice and introduced her to the audience, and took a picture of her and both teams together. During the second intermission they did chuck a puck contest and let myself and Peyton shoot the pucks back. After the team skated to a 6-2 victory they welcomed Peyton back to the ice at the end of the game. While on the ice they gave Peyton a puck and the goalie took to the net. Peyton got to score her very first goal ever. Peyton and ourselves had the time of our lives that evening. The teams parents helped organize the successful blood drive, bake sale, 50/50, chuck a puck as well as helped sell Peyton’s Pals t-shirts and bracelet’s for us. The team raised over $1,200 plus over $300 in Peyton’s Pals gear, and a few miscellaneous online donations. We are speechless that this all started with two high school boys showing up at our blood drive. That turned into them organizing such and extensive event at such a young age. They even had a team mom create arm bands that were black and red (colors of DBA) that both teams wore the entire game. The team and their parents are such wonderful people and we are thrilled for our new friendships.