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Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews spotlights Chicago nurse in ‘The Real Heroes Project’

“The Real Heroes Project” is a collaboration involving Toews and athletes from a combined 14 sport leagues.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews holds up his jersey with the name of Hayley Lesnik, a nurse at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Jonathan Toews is among sports stars participating in “The Real Heroes Project,” a national effort to recognize and celebrate healthcare workers for their efforts on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Real Heroes Project” is a collaboration involving Hopkins and athletes from a combined 14 leagues. Hockey Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Hayley Wickenheiser also participated.

On Wednesday, which is National Nurses Day, the Blackhawks captain recognized Hayley Lesnik, a nurse at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The Lombard, Illinois native was selected in recognition for overcoming COVID-19 herself and donating antibodies to help find treatment for others as well as treating patients with the virus.

In the user-generated video, Toews wrote “H. Lesnik” on a piece of tape and placed it over his last name on his Blackhawks jersey before thanking her and “all of her selfless leadership qualities that we the Blackhawks and myself included aspire to possess.”

“Keep fighting the good fight,” Toews said. “I couldn’t be more proud to have you on my jersey.