A contingent of Islanders team representatives visted various homes of...

A contingent of Islanders team representatives visted various homes of fans across Long Island on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Credit: Newsday/Andrew Gross

Kate O’Halloran, a 17-year-old cancer patient, was so surprised that she began to cry when Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky showed up at her family’s Bellmore home with tickets for Sunday’s Game 4 against the Hurricanes at UBS Arena.

“It was so exciting just to see her smile and for something to give her such happiness,” said her mother, Marykay O’Halloran, whose younger daughter, Kristen, 15, also has battled cancer. Kate O’Halloran will attend Mississippi.

Cooper Graham, a 15-month-old who spent nine months at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park as he battles retinal blastoma, couldn’t quite grasp what was going on when Ledecky came to his Oceanside home. But Cooper’s parents, Mike and Rachel, along with the grandparents and members of Terrace Hose Co. No. 3 of the Oceanside Fire Department, certainly appreciated Ledecky’s visit.

In all, Ledecky made five stops on his twice-annual Surprise and Delight Tour on Saturday, bringing tickets, presents and some good feelings and hope to families who have children who are cancer patients.

“Unfortunately, he’s gone through some testing the last week or two and there are some occurrences occurring,” Mike Graham said of his son. “They’re trying to figure out what’s going on. But we’re praying for him.”

Mike Graham said Islanders Josh Bailey, Matt Martin and Scott Mayfield have visited Cooper in the hospital.

“It lightens up the family when they’re there,” said Mike Graham, a fire commissioner for the Oceanside Fire Department.

As for a chance to attend Game 4, he said, “We’re big Islander people, we always have been. This surprise from Jon Ledecky and the organization, there’s not enough words. This is just amazing for our family. We’ve been through so much. This type of stuff licks you. It does.”

Ledecky also visited Jordan Scheinkopf, 10, of Massapequa, Vincent Cusimano, 11, of Massapequa and Alessia Serie, 12, of Merrick and their family and friends.

“It’s just so great to have this tradition of coming to visit those who are really fighting the great fight against disease, cancer, childhood cancer,” said Ledecky, wearing a yellow “CooperStrong” band. He huddled with Mike, Rachel and Cooper Graham in a private circle to share prayers.

Said Ledecky, “To bring a little joy into their lives and to bring the community together with them and then give them a chance to forget their troubles for a day and come be Islanders superfans.”

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