Teen gets Make-A-Wish dream to skate with Sharks

Sam Tageson, who was born with a heart defect, got to practice with the San Jose Sharks Tuesday.
March 18, 2014 8:17:05 PM PDT
Seventeen-year-old Sam Tageson had his Make-A-Wish dream come true Tuesday when he got to practice with the San Jose Sharks and even skate through the shark head onto the ice at Tuesday night's game.

Hitting the ice at a Sharks practice is stuff of dreams for any Bay Area hockey fan. And for Tageson, it's a dream come true. He's been a Sharks fan his entire life.

"He eats, sleeps, and does everything hockey," his dad Louis Tageson said. "I mean if he's not outside playing hockey, he's inside playing PlayStation hockey. There's pretty much not a stat he doesn't know."

It could be that hockey is what keeps Tageson going. He was born with a defective heart with only two chambers instead of four. He underwent three surgeries, the first when he was only seven days old.

He began playing hockey at four, switched to roller hockey at six, and he never tires.

Tuesday, he was one of the team, getting told to scoot over when he was sitting in Joe Thorton's seat on the bench and even scoring a couple of goals during practice.

"I watch a lot, I come to a lot of games," Tageson said. "Let's see, my favorite player is Nemo. I'm a goalie, so stick together, right?"

Sharks management apparently saw something in him. Afterwards, they gave him a hat and jersey and a contract, making him an official member of the team.

But this was a dream hard to extract from Tageson during an interview with Make-A-Wish.

"He's so humble," Scott Loyet from the Make-A-Wish board of directors said. "When we interviewed, he knew what he wanted, but he was quiet about it."

Tageson confided in his dad that he has one more wish -- a job with the Sharks when he graduates from high school. We're not sure if that will happen, but the Sharks loved how happy he is.

"I think it's a credit to all our players and everybody in our organization that this actually is our pleasure to be able to do," Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said. "To see the smile on his face is worth it all."


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