Over the years, Anders Lee has shown he’s more than just a good hockey player for the Islanders. He’s also proven to be a quality human being and a class act.
It’s one of the reasons he’s the current captain of the organization and the ambassador of the franchise.That’s why what he did yesterday resonates so much with the tight-knit community that is Islander fans.
Last night a video of surfaced on social media with Lee FaceTiming a kid named Alexander Gross.
— Garrison Gross (@GarrisonSpencer) December 23, 2020
Alex Gross, 17, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer earlier this year. Doctors told him and his family he might not make it past three weeks after he had surgery back in February. But he’s continued to fight through all the trials and tribulations.
Alex is also a huge Islanders fan, as is his entire family. Thomas Greiss, who is no longer with the team, is actually his favorite Islander.
So when he got the call from Anders, it was a very cool moment for both he and his family.
“The Islanders are very special to us and having them there for us at a time that is so difficult mean a lot to us,” said Gross’s father, Garrison.
The call came as a total surprise to Alex. He was just finishing lunch and didn’t know it was coming.
“It was amazing to watch my sons face light up when he got the call,” Garrison added.
Anders Lee Face Timed my Friend Garrisons son in NC yesterday for 5 minutes! He has brain cancer. Anders invited him to practice and games. Anders said if they were in NY, he would have gone to the house. I have no words! None! What a class act!
— Alan Breecker (@abreecker) December 22, 2020
The idea of Lee talking with Alex was set in motion after Garrison’s close friend and fellow Isles fan Alan Breecker shared his post about Alex and the hopes of the Islanders reaching out to him.
Once the team saw the post they contacted Garrison to set the arrangements.
“I told him the best times to call and he timed it perfect,” he said. They called me first to verify it is good, I confirmed and they surprised Alexander.”
The clip of Alex receiving made the rounds on social media last night and immediately made spread on Isles Twitter with messages and tweets in support of Alex following thereafter.
— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) December 23, 2020
— Matthew Dillner (@MatthewDillner) December 23, 2020
The moment for Alex and his family is one they’ll be sure not to forget. It’s also just another reminder of how much Lee does for the community.
As of three days ago, Alex’s condition continues to improve according to his dad. The last update had Alex once again getting his appetite back and his platelets back up over 200 again.
Alex continues to be an inspiration for many. And if you’d like to help him out, you can check out his GoFundMe page under the name Hope for Alex.