Win or lose, Ryan Miller will always be tops in my book.  Miller took time after practice last week to meet with an 11-year-old boy who's battle against leukemia is a must win. 

Four years ago, Jacob Schmidt was like any other second grader.  The then 7-year-old went to school, loved pizza and played hockey and baseball with his friends.  One day, Jake's mom notices a spot on his leg.  A few weeks later, his parent were told their son had leukemia

Jacob and his family have endured more pain and anxiety than most of us will ever know.  Jake underwent numerous chemotherapy treatments before finally receiving a bone marrow transplant just about the time he turned 8 years-old. 

Jake's been poked with needles more times than he can probably count.  He spent an entire year after his transplant at home.  No school and rarely any friends over.  Every sniffle or bloody nose was terrifying to his mom. 

Today, Jake is doing pretty well.  He's back at school, eating pizza again and playing all kinds of sports.  The transplant was a success.  His parents still hold their breath during regular check ups every few months, until they're told he is still healthy.

Healthy enough, as you can see, to meet Sabres Goalie Ryan Miller.  The Make-A-Wish Foundation had asked Jacob what his wish would be.  It took a while to make it come true, but finally he got to meet Miller. 

Jake's a goalie for his hockey team, the Saints, just like Miller.  Not only did he get a few tips from his hero, but he also got to fend off some shots from a few Sabres players who stuck around to meet him as well.    Drew Stafford, Christian Ehrhoff, Luke Adam and Nathan Gerbe all stayed after practice to skate with Jake. 

This was not his first time on the ice with the Sabres.  Last April, Jake got a chance to skate with a few of players.  Miller was not able to make that date, but he never forgot about Jake.  So last Thursday, they finally met up on the ice!   (Click here for more pictures of their meeting.)

Jake's story is amazing.  I tear up every time I think about him.  Jake was best friends with my son when he was first diagnosed.  The two still hang out a little bit, although their now in different grades and on different baseball and hockey teams.  There's a bond there, and I think they will always be friends.   

-And Ryan Miller will always be a hero.  Winning or not, Miller knows what is truly important in life.  Hockey's just a game.  There will always be another game.  There's only one Jake.   God Bless.