Hockey Team Gives Disabled Boy & Family New Life (VIDEO)

Lindsay Mannering

charlotte checkersI never thought these words would come out of my head, through my fingers, and onto the page, buuuut: Rats are awesome. They are amazing, and I want them all to move into my house, become my boyfriends, and tickle my feet with their cute little tongues.

Let's go back.

The Albany River Rats, now the Charlotte Checkers, are team in the American Hockey League that moved from New York to North Carolina this year, and just couldn't leave behind their number one fan. Eleven-year-old, Zach Bennett, who has neurofibromatosis and has lost both his legs, didn't take the news well that his favorite team was leaving his home town in upstate NY, and the Rats weren't happy with the idea that they had to leave Zach behind. So they knew they had to do something, and do something they did.

The Bennetts put their house on the market, but it didn't sell right away. But the Rats, now the Checkers, couldn't wait for Zach to be back in the stands, so they bought the Bennetts a new house in Charlotte, and laid out the welcome mat for the family of four.

Randy Bennett, Zach's father, told the Charlotte Observer:

They kept him going after his amputation. Hockey players are a different caliber of athlete. These are guys who'd come over, kick off their shoes and sit on the couch to play games with our son.

And now I want to know more hockey players, go to more hockey games, and support minor league hockey with a few bucks every now and again. The Bennetts have found a great treatment facility for Zach, and he's fitting right in with the same team in a new location.

While I'm the newest Checkers fan, Zach is still the biggest. The team has given him a ton of smiles, and has done amazing things for his family, but it's so heart-warming in the video to hear what Zach's done for the Checkers. It's stories like these that really set me off for the weekend in a good mood and benevolent spirit. Bravo, Checkers and Zach! And go get 'em this season, I think you have a larger fan base now, and it's well-deserved.

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Photo via YouTube

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