Monday will mark one of the most important days in little Maddox Flynn's two-and-a-half-year life.

The youngster from Edmonton will undergo life-changing surgery Monday afternoon. The large facial growth that little Maddox had lived with since birth is about to be just a memory.

Just one day before the surgery, Maddox, his parents and grandparents from both sides of the family, spent the weekend enjoying the sights and sounds of the Big Apple. They even ran into a new fan of little Maddox.

Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brule happened to be in New York this weekend and met up with the family. Brule, like many others, was touched by Maddox's story and donated $10,000 to the trust fund.

It's the generosity of such strangers that the family says they are thankful for. The young boy's surgery cost the family $50,000, and they didn't know if the provincial government was going to cover the cost. But thanks to the kind donations of many around the world, more than $280,000 was raised for Maddox, affording the family to get the first of two surgeries done right away.

The province announced last week they will pay for Monday's surgery, but not the previous one. The family is appealing the decision.

Monday's surgery is a two-pronged surgery. It will improve the looks and functionality of Maddox's left eye and most importantly, remove the rest of the growth on his face.

Doctors say the key is getting out as much of the abnormal tissue as possible and to protect and preserve a major facial nerve at the same time.

CTV's Daryl McIntyre is in New York with Maddox and will update the outcome of Maddox's surgery and recovery on a blog on our website.

With files from CTV's Daryl McIntyre