Jimmy Howard gave one fan the surprise of her life Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Kelly Rothe, a 20-year-old native of Ann Arbor, Mich., recently announced her plans to undergo a preventative double mastectomy Friday. The Eastern Michigan University junior lost her mother to breast cancer when she was 9 years old, and she has since discovered that she also carries the BRCA1 gene, which puts her risk of getting breast cancer at 87 percent.
Rothe made the brave decision to undergo surgery, and according to MLive.com, she’ll become the youngest patient ever to undergo the procedure at Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Mich.
But on the eve of Rothe’s surgery, the Detroit Red Wings wanted to do something special for the die-hard fan. The team invited Rothe and her family to The Joe, where they were treated to a private dinner and a tour of the arena, which included stopping by the locker room and finding a signed Jimmy Howard jersey waiting for her. But the surprise got even better when Howard, Rothe’s favorite player, appeared from around the corner and surprised her with a bouquet of flowers.
Check out the heartwarming moment in the video below.