Young Brayden Johnston has gone through a lot in his short life. When Brayden was just three years old, his father, a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force, died of sudden cardiac arrest from a rare disorder affecting his heart's electrical system.
Four years later, Brayden's mother, Crystal, still struggles to make ends meet, and while Brayden loves hockey, the sport is an expensive one. Crystal never would have been able to afford to send the now 7-year-old Brayden to a hockey camp like the ones the Blues host during the summer.
But when Crystal volunteered at a fundraiser for Fallen Hero's Dream Ride, a charity which supports families whose loved ones died while on active duty, Crystal was introduced to Blues captain David Backes and video/skill development coach Sean Ferrell. The rest was history.
Brayden's love for hockey keeps his father's passion for the game alive, and while nothing will ever make up for the pain of losing a father so young, this gesture by the Blues certainly helps families like the Johnstons heal from their pain.
(h/t St. Louis Blues)