Several young hospital patients facing difficult circumstances received a major boost on Thursday afternoon as a contingent of current and former Kansas City Chiefs’ players – led by safety Tyrann Mathieu – stopped by for a visit.
The group – which included tight ends Blake Bell, Deon Yelder and David Wells in addition to Chiefs Ambassadors Keith Cash and Kendall Gammon – spent more than an hour with kids in the pediatric unit at The University of Kansas Health System as part of the visit, handing out custom Chiefs-themed bears and spreading plenty of hope along the way.
“I had a chance to meet quite a few kids – many of which are going through difficult times and trying situations,” Mathieu said. “I think any time that you have an opportunity to lend your hand or even give kids a little bit of hope, that’s always a good thing – not only for them, but for yourself.”
Mathieu, who signed with the Chiefs in March, also saw the event as an opportunity to get to know his new town – and in a pretty impactful way, at that.
“It’s always important to dive into the community and to get to know people outside of what I do for a living,” Mathieu said. “It’s important to make yourself a part of other people's’ lives.”
In addition to the custom bears, the players also signed pennants, took photos and – most of all – got to know each of the patients that they met. The group learned about the patients’ interests, talked to their parents and – in Gammon’s case - even showed off some impressive skills.
Gammon, who juggles in his free time and has performed professionally on many occasions, brought along his clubs and performed in front of one of the younger patients. The child, two-year-old Ben, was then given the clubs to play with. It was a moment that anyone in attendance won’t soon forget.
The visit – which also took place in celebration of National Nurses Week – was one of several that the Chiefs have made to The University of Kansas Health System in recent memory, and every time, the players leave the hospital inspired.
And as interactions such as the one with young Ben clearly demonstrated, this time was no different.
“I think we all face different adversities,” Mathieu said. “But any time you see kids going through really tough situations and they keep a smile on their face, I think it shares a lot of hope…I think a lot of hope was shared today.”
Current and former members of the Kansas City Chiefs visited The University of Kansas Health System to inspire and share hope to those fighting battles in the pediatric unit on May 9, 2019.