Marty Walsh pens heartfelt letter to St. Louis Blues superfan Laila Anderson

"The courage you have shown is inspirational and we are all praying for you."

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 12:  Colton Parayko #55 of the St. Louis Blues and Laila Anderson celebrate with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Boston Bruins in Game Seven to win the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues and Laila Anderson celebrate with the Stanley Cup. –Patrick Smith / Getty Images

In a heartfelt letter, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh put his lifelong Bruins fandom aside to congratulate 11-year-old St. Louis Blues superfan Laila Anderson on her team’s Stanley Cup win.

“I am writing to you because a couple of weeks ago, I was at home, watching pre-game coverage of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, when I saw a story about you, your love of the St. Louis Blues, how the Blues players love you in return, and how you inspired an entire city and fan base,” Walsh wrote in the letter that went viral Thursday. “I turned to my partner, Lorrie, and said, ‘This stinks! I love the Bruins and I want them to win! … But I really want Laila to win, too!'”

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Anderson — who was on the ice at TD Garden to celebrate with the Blues after Game 7 — has hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), an autoimmune disease that affects only 15 other children in the world. Walsh told Anderson her story “touched [his] heart.” 

“The courage you have shown is inspirational and we are all praying for you,” he wrote.

Read Walsh’s note in full below: 

“Dear Laila:

“We have never met, so let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Marty and I am a passionate, lifelong Boston Bruins fan. My loyalty to the Bruins (and all Boston sports teams) runs deep. I am writing to you because a couple of weeks ago, I was at home, watching pre-game coverage of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, when I saw a story about you, your love of the St. Louis Blues, how the Blues players love you in return, and how you inspired an entire city and fan base. After watching the segment, I turned to my partner, Lorrie, and said, ‘This stinks! I love the Bruins and I want them to win! … But I really want Laila to win, too!’

“I want to extend to you then, my heartfelt congratulations on your beloved Blues winning the Stanley Cup. Over the last 18 or so years, we in Boston have been pretty blessed with championships by all of our sports team. It’s an incredible experience and I sincerely hope you enjoy every moment of it.

“I also want to let you know that you touched my heart and that of so many people here in Boston. (I had a pretty serious illness myself when I was a boy.) The courage you have shown is inspirational and we are all praying for you. I don’t know if you or your family plan to come back to Boston anytime soon, but if you should return please let me know so I would be very glad to you and your family and show you some more of Boston. I certainly can’t promise you a cooler experience than standing on the Garden ice kissing the Stanley Cup, but Boston’s a great city and would love to have you back. Congratulations, again!”

Walsh’s office confirmed Friday he wrote the letter.