A dying man's last wish: Watch the Leafs beat the Bruins
Bruce Brigham has one last wish before his time comes.
Brigham, 81, has only a few days left before doctors expect his body to shut down.
“He just kept telling us there’s no way the Leafs are going to lose tonight,” says Jessica Brigham, his granddaughter who has helped set Bruce up for tonight’s game.
Over in his hospital room in Barrie, a full Leafs television package has been ordered, Leafs pictures have been pinned to the walls and “Go Leafs Go” has been scrawled on the doctor’s whiteboard beside his bed.
“He just wants to catch one last playoff game,” says Jessica.
Bruce, who has been battling Parkinson’s disease, had his third heart attack this past Saturday; doctors told his family time is running out, quickly.
“We’re just trying to make him comfortable and give him anything he wants, and that’s the Leafs,” says Jessica, explaining her grandfather is the BIGGEST Leafs fan out there.
Bruce met his wife, now married 52 years, by asking her out to a Leafs game, their first date; he only convinced her to go because they were playing Montréal, her favourite team.
The rest is history. The two married, had two sons, and their house was dominated by Leafs, Leafs, Leafs – and a little Canadiens, too.
Dean Brigham, Jessica’s father and Bruce’s son, says: “That was it. That was our life, Leafs, Leafs, Leafs.”
Dean will never forget a contest they won back in the early 2000s when Bruce submitted a photograph of his two boys decked-out in Leafs gear.
“We got to go to a game,” says Dean, adding there was always playful tension in his childhood home over the Leafs and Canadiens.
But now, 52 years later, 52 years after that first date, after knocking heads over the Leafs/ Canadiens rivalry, Bruce’s wife Betty says she will be cheering for the Leafs tonight beside her dying husband.
Go Leafs Go. Win this one for Bruce! Cheers.