Hockey players help sick kids feel the love on Valentine's Day

The Rail Yard Dawgs make Valentine's Day cards with kids at Carilion Children's

ROANOKE, Va. – A group of hockey players in Roanoke is making sure that kids at Carilion Children's Hospital feel the love this Valentine's Day.

Three hockey players from the Rail Yard Dawgs visited the hospital Thursday to make Valentine's Day cards with the kids.

That's where 4-year-old Keelan made a new friend, Travis Armstrong.

"To be able to come to the hospital and be with kids, kids who are sick, especially, I think it's just something that we should keep doing and something that goes, goes a long way than just playing hockey. It helps puts things into perspective for us," said Armstrong, a defenseman for the Rail Yard Dawgs.

Hospital employees say making the cards is a fun way for kids to socialize, but it's also a distraction for children and their families.

"When we bring in things to get them busy and get them creative, it really distracts them from those pains and those fears and it helps them feel more comfortable," said Sarah Kress, the child life specialist at Carilion Children's. "Plus, they're getting up and they're moving around, and that can really help with healing."

Armstrong knows how tough it can be for families with children at the hospital.

"My dad, he passed with cancer when I was 13," Armstrong said. "I spent quite a bit of time in the hospital when I was younger. So, just to come here and see the kids and help put a smile on their face, it just seals the deal with that."

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