December 30, 2007
“I scored 20 on Louie.” There aren’t many people who will ever be able to say that and have it be true. Jaxson is one of them. And he’s just 10 years old. Jaxson was recently featured in an uplifting campaign spot for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice during which he not only bonded with Luongo, he schooled the star goalie while playing street hockey.
Jaxson had Luongo spinning in circles in the ad as he repeatedly beat the netminder – who many believe is the best in the world.
Jaxson, who lives in Victoria, is a Canucks fanatic and has been in the hospice program for more than six years since he was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. The charismatic Jaxson displayed such a dominating performance in the video ad, he thought he’d have some more fun by rubbing it in. After landing front-row tickets, Jaxson and his dad brought a sassy sign to the game at GM Place on Dec. 18 against the Devils which read: “I scored 20 on Louie. Yes, I did.”
“We figured he was in the front row and we thought it would be fun,” says Jessie, who is Jaxson’s mom. “My husband [John] could see that [Luongo] recognized Jaxson near the end of the third period. He was smiling over at him, waving over at him. He definitely saw the sign.”
He sure did. And he knew exactly who was holding it. So, after a shutout performance against the Devils, Luongo scooped up the game puck and took it straight to the corner where Jaxson sat. He flipped the puck over the glass, to give his cheeky friend a touching memento. “It was pretty cool because it was something Louie really wanted him to have, you could tell by the way he pounced on the puck,” Jessie says.
“It was really neat. It was something special and something different. It was the fact that Luongo really wanted him to have it in a game in which he had a big shutout win against [Martin] Brodeur. It will go with the stick.”
The wheelchair-bound Jaxson already has an autographed game stick, which Luongo gave him when they filmed the video ad. “Roberto came early and they hung out,” says Jessie. “He brought his new mask for Jaxson to see and they played some air hockey together.”
“It was a full commercial shoot. They did makeup. But Jaxson wouldn’t do makeup unless Roberto did, so they got their makeup done together.”
Jaxson has a shrine dedicated to the Canucks in his Victoria home. “His whole room is hockey and the Canucks,” says Jessie. Jaxson watches as many games as he can and attends about four games a year at GM Place. Jessie says Jaxson especially relates with goalies. “At school, that’s usually what he plays, “ she says. “ He has his own street goalie pads.”
With Canuck Place, Jaxson goes away to camp four or five times a year, and has a place to hang out with friends and family. “It’s been great,” Jessie says of Jaxson’s relationship with Canuck Place. “They even bring me out of my shell with what I can do with him. They take care of the details. They took him skiing to Whistler last year and he went for the day. Everything was arranged and it was unbelievable. I had such a great time with him. They give us the courage to be able to do things like skiing and going to Playland.”
The Province – Sunday, December 30, 2007 E2
Reprinted with permission.