An 11-year-old girl with a visual impairment seized the opportunity to literally see her favourite hockey team in action for the first time in her life.
Olivia Lettich attended Sunday afternoon’s Flames game against the New York Islanders at the Scotiabank Saddledome as a guest of the team.
In the months after her birth, Olivia was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. The young child underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment but her right eye was lost to the disease and vision in her left eye was severely impaired to the point she was considered legally blind.
“If you just watched her, you might not even notice (that she’s blind) because she’s a pretty spunky little girl,” said Meredith Lettich, Olivia’s mother. “She’ll just do whatever she wants to do. She doesn’t let it hold her back.”
An organization called eSight has created an assisted device to allow people like Olivia to see the world surrounding them. The ‘glasses’ are equipped with a high-speed camera that records then transmits the images to the headset.
“It’s so cool,” said Olivia of the device. “They help me see so much better and I can read. I can watch things from far away.”
While Olivia watched and cheered from the stands, the Flames routed the Islanders 5-2 to extend the team’s winning streak. Following the game, the Calgary Flames arranged an opportunity for Olivia to meet her three favourite players; Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau.
With files from CTV’s Chris Epp