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‘Littlest Knights Fan’ doubly linked by birth to Memorial Cup team



The son of a London Knights physician and his spouse, two-year-old Dawson Arbeau arrived on the earth with a giant help from a staff goalie’s mother.

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On Instagram, he’s generally known as the “Littlest Knights Fan.”

Cute pictures and movies of two-year-old Dawson Arbeau, wearing London Knights gear, make up the social media account operated by his dad and mom.

However what the visuals don’t let you know is the fascinating backstory of the toddler’s start connection to the Knights, the Ontario Hockey League championship staff that’s now chasing the Memorial Cup.

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Little Dawson’s father is Ryan Arbeau, one of many staff’s docs.

His surrogate – the lady who carried and delivered him – is Cathy Willmore, who in what she calls “a extremely bizarre coincidence” is the mom of the Knights’ backup goalie, Owen Willmore.

After attempting for 9 years to have a baby, Arbeau mentioned he and his spouse, Sarah, started searching for different choices. Via “a good friend of a good friend,” they have been put in contact with Willmore, who’d been considering of turning into a surrogate.

Surrogate pregnancies may be one in every of two varieties. Conventional surrogacy makes use of the daddy’s sperm to fertilize the surrogate’s egg, which means the newborn carries the surrogate’s DNA. One other process, the one the Arbeaus used, is named gestational surrogacy. An embryo is created utilizing the daddy’s sperm and the organic mom’s egg and implanted within the surrogate to hold the newborn to time period.

Paul and Cathy Willmore wear London Knights gear with Ryan, Dawson and Sarah Arbeau, shortly after Dawson was born. Cathy Willmore, mother of Knights backup goalie Owen Willmore, was the surrogate who carried Ryan and Sarah’s embyro to term. Ryan Arbeau is a team doctor. (Supplied photo)
Paul and Cathy Willmore put on London Knights gear with Ryan, Dawson and Sarah Arbeau, shortly after Dawson was born. Cathy Willmore, mom of Knights backup goalie Owen Willmore, was the surrogate who carried Ryan and Sarah’s embyro to time period. Ryan Arbeau is a staff physician. (Provided picture)

Willmore mentioned she loved the expertise of being pregnant along with her personal three kids. Since she was a youngster, and her aunt had a child by way of a surrogate, she’d had the concept of sooner or later turning into a surrogate herself, she mentioned.

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Cathy Willmore and her husband, Paul, met the Arbeaus for the primary time on a chilly December day in 2020 outdoors the Covent Backyard Market, throughout the road from the Budweiser Gardens enviornment the place their son was practising hockey on the time.

“We didn’t initially notice that Ryan had something to do with the Knights,” mentioned Cathy Willmore.

What started as an “awkward” dialog eased when the 2 {couples} realized how intently linked each have been to the Knights, she mentioned. After attending to know one another higher over a number of “dates,” Willmore mentioned she knew she needed to assist the Arbeaus.

Knights followers since they moved to London from New Brunswick 15 years in the past, Arbeau and his spouse function a sports activities drugs clinic within the metropolis.

The years he and his spouse spent attempting to have a child, with all their setbacks, have been troublesome, Arbeau mentioned. “You type of get numb to it.”

With one remaining embryo, Arbeau mentioned Dawson was their “final likelihood.”

Parenthood has been “unbelievable,” although exhausting at instances, he added.

“He’s such a enjoyable little dude,” Arbeau mentioned of his son. “He’s pleased, he’s smiley. It’s simply been nice.”

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Watching the Arbeaus with their son, Willmore mentioned “it’s fairly particular” to see their love for him.

As for her half in serving to to create a household, “it’s one thing that you simply actually can’t put into phrases,” Willmore mentioned.

She mentioned she didn’t notice what number of {couples} wrestle to have kids naturally till she signed up with a surrogacy company. She obtained profiles of many {couples} searching for assist. Some had been trying “for years,” she added.

Willmore and Arbeau say their households typically do issues collectively, and that features cheering on the Knights. Dawson is like “a celeb across the rink,” Willmore mentioned.

Arbeau figures his son is aware of about 100 phrases by now. One in all his most frequently-used phrases? “Go Knights.”

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