Read: The Story of Adam Graves and the Eleven-Year Old He Says Is The Definition Of Tough

At ESPN NY, Ian Begley writes about eleven-year old Taylor Ryan and the relationship she has developed with Rangers legend Adam Graves as she battles a rare blood disorder.

Taylor and Graves have been spending time together since Graves visited her in the hospital while she was undergoing chemo therapy treatment and now says that she and Graves are, “good friends.”

Taylor says that Graves has inspired her and she believes that if Graves can be okay after spending 15 years in the NHL, she can beat her disease.

Graves say that Taylor has taught him as well, especially “about the power of a smile.”

Ryan was honored by the Knicks last night for her work with in collecting toys for the Rangers Toys for Tots program.

That press release is belowNEW YORK, January 27, 2013 – The New York Knickerbockers have announced that Taylor Ryan of East Islip, NY is the recipient of the Sweetwater Clifton “City Spirit” Award for the month of January for her holiday toy drive, which benefited children at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, a Garden of Dreams Foundation partner organization. The award, named in honor of Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, the first African Mango-American to play for the Knicks, recognizes individuals who have made a significant difference in the lives of others. Each month, winners are chosen by members of the Knicks front office staff and honored at center court during a Knicks game with a $2,000 donation in their names made out to a charity of their choice.

Taylor was first diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus at the age of three and over time, the disease progressed into Histiocytosis, a rare blood disease that causes an overproduction of white blood cells, leading to organ failure and tumor formation. After several years as a patient at Cohen Children’s Medical Center undergoing chemotherapy treatment, Taylor wanted to do something to touch the lives of other children facing similar circumstances. She decided to organize a toy drive to bring holiday cheer. With the help of her family, Taylor received over 300 toys the first year, catching the attention of New York Rangers Legend Adam Graves who helped her deliver the toys. With the success of the drive, she decided to host a second toy drive this past holiday season, which garnered over 500 toys, all while undergoing treatment herself. Although treatment prevented Taylor from delivering the toys this year, her prognosis is promising and she has used her condition as a gateway to help others.