The Hatheway family got a night away from the frontline, and they spent it in the front row.
The Philadephia Flyers hosted Josh and Amanda Hatheway for the debut of their "Flyers Frontline Family" program. They attended the game at Wells Fargo Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, the only fans in attendance along with their two sons.
Josh is an EMT and Amanda was an ER nurse who made the move to in-home care but was recently diagnosed with leukemia. The family was emotional when word came from the Flyers that they would be at the opener.
"We hung up the phone in tears. I wasn't even sure what happened. I didn't even know if I was allowed to do this [due to the leukemia diagnosis]," Amanda said.
"I was shaking," said Josh. "I looked at [my wife] and said 'get your oncologist on the phone right now. We need permission.'"
Tweet from @NHLFlyers: Big stick taps to Amanda and Josh Hatheway of Langhorne, PA, the first Flyers Frontline Family honorees. Amanda is a nurse at St. Marys Medical Center & Josh is an EMT and clinical lead for all of the St. Marys emergency room technicians. 🧡🏒🖤@BELFORGroup | #PITvsPHI pic.twitter.com/8DFhTrpy4A
Amanda wore her No. 28 Oskar Lindblom jersey to the game. Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in December 2019 and is now in remission.
"I loved the [lineup] announcements," Amanda said. "It was great to see Oskar come out. He beat cancer, and that's my goal."
Both the Flyers and Penguins honored the Hatheways with stick taps prior to puck drop. The scoreboard also played a special tribute video to frontline workers.
"It was awesome," Josh said. "I wish 1,000 other people I know could have this same opportunity."
"Actually, it was kind of emotional," Amanda said. "Seeing the video they made, it brings tears."