Meet Noah! This 16-year-old radiates enthusiasm and lives life to the fullest. A few days after his birth, Noah was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Coloboma. Coloboma is an eye condition that causes vision impairment. Due to the disorder, Noah has been declared legally blind in both eyes. In addition, Noah lives with cognitive delays that affect his speech, fine motor skills, and learning abilities.
Despite all of his daily challenges, Noah takes on life full steam ahead and doesn’t let anything stop him! Noah loves school, is very social, and has never met a stranger. But above all, it’s his love of hockey that excites him the most!
Noah has been selected as the upcoming UNC Wilmington Collegiate Dream Team Dream Kid! These students will be making Noah’s sports dream come true by having him be a VIP at a Washington Capitals game!
Noah’s Dream is an incredible example of how maybe the best experiences are worth an unscheduled wait.️ On Thursday morning, Noah woke up thinking it was just a normal day, but then there was a knock on his door. Maddi David of our UNCW Collegiate Dream Team showed up to surprise Noah to let him know that his long awaited Washington Capitals Dream was coming true!
Noah and his family flew to Washington, D.C. that morning and met up with the Dream Team. They spent the day getting to know each other and had an amazing time bowling and playing arcade games at Bowlero!
Friday was the BIG day though! From the moment he landed in D.C., all Noah could talk about was how Capital One Arena is the best hockey arena in the world and sharing his love for all things Washington Capitals – the players, the coaches, and the commentators and broadcasting team. To say Noah is a super fan would be an understatement! After breakfast, we headed to the practice facility where our friend, Caroline, took us on an incredible tour. She even let Noah pick out a jersey from the team store to put his name on and favorite number. He picked 8, of course, for his favorite player, Ovi! He got several other special gifts from the Capitals including a signed puck from Ovi and a signed T.J. Oshie picture.
Then, the magic really started to happen! Noah got to stand right by the rink as the players came out for practice. He got to say hi to each player and quickly became their hype man! All of a sudden, all three of his favorite players, Ovi, T.J. Oshie, and Tom Wilson, came out at once to say hi to him. It was such a special moment for Noah and he even got all three players to sign his jersey. Noah also got to meet head coach, Spencer Carbery, and play-by-play announcer, Joe Beninati! It was such a special morning!
We went back to the hotel to rest, but there was no relaxing for Noah. He was too excited for the game that evening! We headed over to Capital One Arena and Noah got to go behind the scenes there and meet more of his favorite people:
Slapshot the mascot
Broadcasters Alexa Landestoy and Alan May
Bob McDonald, legendary National Anthem singer for the Capitals
Ted Leonsis, owner of the Capitals
It got even better from there! Noah got to stand rink side during warmups and even got to ride on the Zamboni in between the first and second period! We then got to go up to the broadcast booth with Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin. Noah got to wear a headset and listen to the play-by-play commentary while he watched the game. Noah was starstruck, realizing he was sitting in the very place that gave him so much joy when he watched the games at home.
Noah was hoping that the game would go to overtime and have to be decided by a shootout and he got his wish! To top it off, it was the Capitals who made the only goal during the shootout to win the game. On the way back to the hotel, Noah couldn’t stop talking about his day and thanking DO3 and the Capitals for making it possible. We think this Dream was definitely worth the wait!