New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle will make his first NHL All-Star Game appearance Sunday afternoon, and given the unique circumstances that made him agree to appear in the game, it wasn’t particularly surprising that the person he thanked most wasn’t a teammate or a coach.

“I’m not playing if it’s not for my wife,” Boyle said during a Saturday press conference, while addressing his own nearly career-ending battle with chronic myeloid leukemia and his two-year-old son Declan’s recent arteriovenous malformation diagnosis. “She’s taken the brunt of this, she had so many sleepless nights in hospital beds. Everything’s fine, but it’s still scary to see.”

The “she” Boyle mentioned would be his wife Lauren, whom he says urged him to play in his first All-Star Game after he was selected to replace Taylor Hall on the Metropolitan Division roster.

According to portions of the press conference obtained by the Washington Post, Brian and Lauren Boyle noticed Declan’s chin flaring up early last week and took their son to the Boston Children’s Hospital. Declan was admitted the same day Boyle was notified by the NHL that he was selected to replace Hall in the All-Star Game.