Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg has been missing on the ice ever since an upper-body injury during a Nov. 8 game against San Jose put him out for at least three weeks.
But his jersey has been worn a few times in the American Airlines Center in his absence.
Klinger’s Kids, a program Klingberg started this season to give back to the community, gives children who have life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to watch the morning skate, tour the locker room, and get four tickets to an upcoming game— and receive a #3 jersey.
One of those children is 6-year-old Aiden Norris, who has stage 4 neuroblastoma and is also autistic. He attended a game through the program shortly after the one-year anniversary of his diagnosis.
“We started coming to the games when he was 11 months old,” Aiden’s mother Rhiannon said in a video on the Dallas stars’ website. “We at least come to one game per season but last year we weren't able to because he got sick, but now that his immune system’s higher, we can do this more often.”
So far, Aiden is one of three children that have been selected to be a part of the program, according to The Athletic.
“For me it's important to give back,” Klingberg said in a video on the Dallas stars’ website. “I come from a small community back home in Sweden as well. I wanted to give back here, and I sat down with the Stars Foundation to do something with kids and this is the thing we ended up doing and I think it’s a great thing.”