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A young girl who survived a liver transplant got to live out her dream by signing a one-day contract with the New York Rangers Thursday, becoming the first female to join the hockey team in its 89-year history.
The Rangers announced the signing of 8-year-old Kayleigh Petersen of East Brunswick, N.J., as part of the Garden of Dreams Night. The team worked with the Make-a-Wish Foundation of New Jersey and the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit that claims to "positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles.”
Doctors had diagnosed Petersen with Tyrosinemia Type 1, a disorder that forced her to undergo a liver transplant in 2009, soon after she was born. Since her recovery, she's taken up dance and hockey, according to the Rangers.
"Her speed, skill and courage have impressed Rangers talent evaluators in her various Intro to Hockey lessons over the last two seasons, as well as at her most recent stint at Full Day Hockey Camp," the team added.
Like any other free agent joining the team, Petersen posed for photos with her jersey at a news conference. She also met several Rangers and watched the team warm up from the bench.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.