ST. LOUIS — At this point, she might be more recognizable than the players themselves.
Ask any Blues player, and they will tell you, Lalia Anderson is one of the main reasons why they are Stanley Cup Champions.
Long before she kissed Lord Stanley's Cup, the Blues knew Laila by a different name.
"I was wearing a taco costume and everyone called me taco girl," Laila said.
Stuffed with personality, even then, Laila was at a St. Louis Children's Hospital Trick or Treat party, when she met the Blues and they've been joined at the hip ever since.
"Just to know that all these boys support me is just unreal," she said.
That Halloween wasn't long after Laila was diagnosed with HLH, an extremely rare auto-immune disease that nearly took her life.
A bone marrow donation from a complete stranger saved it.
"When I was back in isolation in January and I didn’t know what was going to happen, to have all the love and support from St. Louis and have everyone love me is absolutely unreal. I can’t put it into words," says the 11-year-old.
As Laila battled back, a family friend made Laila Strong Bracelets. They remind everyone to "Swab for Laila" to see if you might be a match for a bone marrow transplant.
The bracelets started as a friends-and-family thing, until...
"I gave one to Colton [Parayko] and he wore it and then never took it off," she said.
Along the way, she met a new friend that shared her love for the Blue Note.
"When you guys hang out, do you talk about Blues?" asks reporter Chris Davis.
"If it’s at a Blues game and the puck is in play, no. That’s Laila rule," jokes Lucas White, Laila's friend.
Two months after the Blues etched their names into the history books, Lucas and his family found themselves inside the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Already, the St. Louis Blues had their own exhibit.
"Gloves, helmets, maybe a skate or two," Lucas remembered.
However, Lucas noticed something was glaringly missing.
"It was missing something about Laila, and she was a key part in it," he said.
So he went up to the museum curator and took his best shot.
"I told him it’s Laila Anderson, THE Laila Anderson, the girl who inspired a city," Lucas said.
The girl who inspired a city, and a wristband, is now officially enshrined in the Blues exhibit.
"For them to try so hard to get them in and it actually worked meant so much to me," said Laila.
In a few years, Laila hopes to inspire a generation.
"I will make my life the best it can be and the dream is to be a pediatric brain surgeon," she said.
Medically, Laila is better than ever. Doctors tell her she no longer has HLH, and minus a few blood tests each year, she's put her long stints in the hospital behind her.
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