Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko surprises child fighting cancer with amazing present

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 02: St. Louis Blues rightwing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during an NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues on February 02, 2017, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. The Blues won, 5-1. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko surprised a young fan with the birthday present of a lifetime. 

Arianna Dougan is a Blues fan who was just 3 years old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. Arianna has overcome the cancer multiple times but it has returned once again, and she is currently undergoing treatment. 

She celebrated her 11th birthday on Saturday and received an incredible present from her favorite hockey team.

The Blues held a live auction last week and offered an opportunity for a fan to travel with the team on a road trip to Phoenix and Denver in late March. The winner would get to fly on the team plane and stay at the team hotel. 

Tarasenko submitted the highest bid, and did so with one special friend in mind: Arianna Dougan. Tarasenko first met Arianna a few years ago during Hockey Fights Cancer Night, and the two have stayed in touch since. 

Arianna (whose multicolor coat is just fantastic) was invited into the Blues locker room for her birthday, where she was given a customized Blues jersey and a special envelope. Inside the envelope was the invitation for her to join the team on the road trip, which she read aloud with a ear-to-ear smile. The team then sang a Russian-accented version of happy birthday to her.

This is a terrific story all-around, and buying this present for someone who truly deserves it was an awesome move by Tarasenko. 

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