You've probably heard the term "the buddy system". It's when you're paired up with friend who has your back in a time of need. Well, Brendan Staub has an entire team of buddies.
Games days for the St Louis Junior Blues are big days for Brendan.
“He probably gets dressed a good five hours before game time,” said Krista Staub, Brendan’s mother.
Brendan doesn't take the ice, He's the DJ.
“I like to pump them up,” he said.
He also observes from his perch. It's how he gets intel on the opposing goalies.
There was a time when he played hockey, but those days ended when was 8. Brendan's health took a turn.
“We got a call that he had a seizure,” Krista said. “Next came a brain tumor. He lost his vision and strokes came from there on out.”
It was determined he had a brain disease, but his mother said they still do not have a diagnosis of what it is. The prognosis wasn't good.
“It’s a miracle he’s here right now,” she said. “They had given him two years to live.”
Brendan's mom wasn't giving up though.
“When I heard that, it wasn’t and option,” she said. “So I went to the Mayo Clinic.”
The medical expenses from the surgeries and treatments have been staggering. This is where the hockey team comes back in via Brendan's Buddies, a non-for-profit that helps raise money to help.
“It’s very meaningful,” said Jr. Blues coach Chris Flaugher. “It’s a way to give back to a special kid.”
The team holds a game in his honor. Every goal the Jr. Blues score, the team makes a donation to Brendan’s Buddies.
But, the team’s support goes beyond fundraising. The team also gives Brendan a sense of being.
“It feels good because the boys like to be around me,” Brendan said.
Brendan is now 21, and while his medical issues are ongoing, his future is not without hope. Thanks in-part to his buddies.
For more information, you can find Brendan's Buddies on Facebook.