A video of the meaningful encounter shows a teary-eyed 11-year-old Anderson Whitehead finally meeting his idol.
It was posted to Facebook by his aunt, Tammy Whitehead, and has been viewed more than 4.2 million times.
“My husband, Paul, has a physiotherapist who worked with the Leafs for many years, so he reached out to see if he still had any contacts that could somehow arrange a meet and greet,” Whitehead told Global News.
“He got them access to the morning skate, which Anderson was thrilled with, but when Price came over to sign his stuff, he was overcome.”
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Anderson’s mother, Laura McKay, had been diagnosed with breast cancer and promised her young son that she would help him meet his idol.
She passed away last November at 45 years of age. Anderson was her only child.
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“Carey Price was a class act, not only giving Anderson two signed sticks, a signed puck, signed his jersey and mini-stick, but he also gave him the biggest hug,” Whitehead wrote on Facebook.
“Words cannot describe how much this meant to Anderson and we are forever grateful to this wonderful man.”
Whitehead tells Global News that Anderson is currently on vacation with his father, but “is thrilled with all the love he is getting. We never imagined this would happen.”
-with files from La Presse Canadienne