SPORTS

Maple Leafs grant wish for boy, 11, from Sask. First Nation

03/28/2015 05:10 EDT | Updated 05/28/2015 05:59 EDT
A boy from the Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation has inked his first NHL contract as a puck-dropper for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Garrett Gamble — known affectionately as 'G-Man' — was born with a disease called Morquio Syndrome. The disorder affects organs in the body and can cause symptoms such as heart disease, skeletal abnormalities and early death.

This weekend, the Children's Wish Foundation has granted the trip of a lifetime for the 11-year-old boy: he is spending three days with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We are very proud," Garret's father, Garrett Sr., told CBC News on Saturday afternoon from Toronto.

"The community is behind us. They really love what happened to Garrett. He is going to be a celebrity when he gets home." 

On Thursday, Garrett left for Toronto with his dad, mom and sister. Since he arrived in Toronto, his Band has posted photos of a beaming Gamble signing a contract with the leafs, cheering on the bench as the team went for their morning skate, and sitting in his own locker in the team's dressing room underneath a Leafs jersey that reads 'G-MAN' on its name bar. 

"Today was one of the most fun days that my son has ever had in his whole life," Garrett Sr. said. "Up until now we have been going through just ups an down. We have two children who have been born with this disability. It's been one of the happiest days of his life." 

Garrett will drop the puck in the game against the Ottawa Senators Saturday night. 

Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf answered questions about Garrett's day on a video posted to the team's website. Phaneuf said it was important to the players to accept Garrett in the dressing room and make sure he enjoys his day as a teammate. The team's interim Head Coach Peter Horachek said Garrett is a "good kid" as he announced Garrett's one-day signing to the team.

The Leafs website has created a 'player bio' page for Garrett, complete with his stats and position — puck-dropper.

The Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation Chief & Council Facebook page posted updates throughout Saturday chronicling Gamble's special day as a Toronto Maple Leaf.

MORE:cbcSports