Gregory, known as “Cookie,” waves to the roaring crowd from atop the Zamboni circling center ice at TD Garden in Boston. It’s a view few have seen, and for Cookie, the sight is as inspiring as it is unique.
When Cookie’s heart suddenly failed a year ago due to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition, a heart transplant saved his life. Watching Boston Bruins games kept him motivated on his route to recovery. So, too, did the prospect of his wish coming true. “It certainly distracted Cookie during the challenging times,” says his mom, Jane. “And his excitement helped me to cope with my worries, too.”
This courageous fan is granted insider status through his wish to meet his favorite Bruins player, Patrice Bergeron. Cookie enjoys an up-close view from the penalty box during warm-ups. He and his family then settle into Patrice Bergeron’s personal box seats for the game – and in between periods, the teen is escorted down not only for his Zamboni ride, but also to fist-bump each of the players as they leave the ice! The charismatic teen feels exhilarated as he encourages the team onward.
Following the game, Cookie relishes a tour of the Bruins’ locker room and is joined by Patrice Bergeron! Bergeron signs Cookie’s jersey and presents him with an autographed hockey stick. Cookie's wish come true strengthens his resolve, reminding him that he is surrounded by fans who are rooting for him.