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Blues winger surprises cancer-battling fan with birthday gift of a lifetime

Arianna Dougan is a big St. Louis Blues fan who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was just 3 years old.

She has been battling the cancer ever since and, though she has overcome it many times, it has once again returned.

Dougan is currently undergoing treatment, but as noted by SI.com’s Extra Mustard page, on Saturday she celebrated her 11th birthday with a wonderful surprise.

The Blues held a live auction last week and offered an opportunity for a fan to travel with the team on a road trip to Phoenix and Denver in late March. The winner would get to fly on the team plane and stay at the team hotel.

Now, that in itself would not be much of a story, except for the fact that Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko submitted the highest bid so that Dougan could make the trip.

Apparently, Tarsenko had met her a few years ago during Hockey Fights Cancer Night, and the two have remained in touch.

Arianna (whose multicolor coat is just fantastic) was invited into the Blues locker room for her birthday, where she was given a customized Blues jersey and a special envelope. Inside the envelope was the invitation for her to join the team on the road trip, which she read aloud with a ear-to-ear smile. The team then sang a Russian-accented version of happy birthday to her.

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