Patients, Raps cheered by visit

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Patients at the Hospital for Sick Children are used to seeing a parade of doctors and nurses coming into their rooms.

But yesterday, a group of kids were looking waaay up, when the Raptors came into the ward for a surprise visit.

"The best part is that we keep it a secret and then suddenly Chris Bosh enters their room," said Caron Mills, child life entertainment and donations co-ordinator for the hospital. "The kids are speechless at first, but as soon as they realize it's for real they start talking and joking and enjoy the time they spend with them."

For forward Jake Voskuhl, who is a father of four daughters aged 10 weeks to 6 years, and brand new papa Jamario Moon, the annual visit by the team took on a new meaning.

"I have four of my own and it brings it home when you see a kid who is sick," Voskuhl said. "To see these kids dealing with the adversity they are, yet still have a smile on their face, that's encouraging to us."

LIFTING SPIRITS

Moon's wife Tamara gave birth to daughter Taylin three weeks ago.

"Even if I wasn't a new father, it still makes me feel good to come here and give back," Moon said. "It does me good to know I can lift their spirits. You remember when you were a kid."

The Raptors played bubble hockey, computer games and billiards with the children in a common room before going off on individual room visits to sign autographs and drop off sweaters and balls.

"This has probably been my favourite day in the hospital," 14-year-old Alex Morra said. "I watch them on TV all the time."

Jason Kapono said the team's two-game winning streak could be the start of something big for all concerned.

"Hopefully we keep winning a few more games and allow these kids to have an even better time," he said.


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