A young hockey fan from Maple Ridge is seeing images of himself alongside Henrik Sedin on posters and hockey cards – the materials being used to promote Jean’s Day at Children’s Hospital.
Four patients of Children’s Hospital were chosen as look-a-likes for fan favourites Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler and Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Nine-year-old Kaleb Illerbrun was chosen as the younger version of the team captain, and his favourite Canuck, Henrik.
Kaleb does not play hockey, and skates only slightly faster than Henrik. But the Grade 3 student at Laityview elementary does enjoys watching the game with his father Neil.
“He loves to watch hockey, and Henrik always was his favourite,” said his mother, Dawn.
Kaleb was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 14 months old, and does regular follow-up checkups.
Being chosen for the promotion meant a photo shoot with the Canucks, which was a lot of fun.
“Kaleb was excited, and maybe a little overwhelmed at first, to see someone he had only ever watched on TV.
The experience left her with a new appreciation for the Canucks’ biggest stars, especially “Hank.”
“He was so nice. He stuck around afterward and we got more pictures with him, outside of the photo shoot.”
The posters, hockey cards and bookmarks have been distributed to schools and corporations across the province.
It’s hard to believe any child could look like the unmistakable Sedin Twins, but Dawn says the likeness goes beyond their shared red hair. The family did some online research, and found that her son does indeed bear a similarity to the younger, pre-goatee and chubby cheeked Sedins.
Jeans Day 2014 will be on April 24, and the concept is that office workers and professionals get a pass to wear jeans, and a Jeans Day button, in exchange for a donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Since 1993, the event has raised more than $16 million for the cause.
Kaleb can’t wait for Jeans Day. Dawn has ordered enough buttons for his entire school, and his goal is to raise $3,000 selling them to everyone at Laityview.