Thursday, October 9, 2014

More than just a jersey

Did you see this?

If you didn''s what happened.  Devon Still, a Cincinnati Bengal, was kept on the practice roster when cut from the team.  He was recently moved to the active player roster.  His daughter, Leah has neuroblastoma.  Sales from his #75 jersey have raised over 1 million dollars for Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  So cool.

Remember, he plays for the Bengals.  Last Sunday night the Bengals played the New England Patriots.  The Patriot's cheerleaders did this...

This is a huge display of empathy in SO many ways.

On Sunday when we tuned in to watch the Bronco game, our kids immediately noticed the pink.  The kids asked why they were all wearing pink.  We explained that October is breast cancer awareness month, and lots of people wear pink things to support women with breast cancer.

"But they didn't have gold in September," Lydia, our insightful 8-year-old daughter commented.

Many parents of kids with cancer work hard to try to spread awareness.  Could a page of the the newspaper turn gold for a day?  Could the Empire State Building or the White House shine gold lights?  Could a hospital which treats both children and adults display gold ribbons during September?  Most of the time the answer is no even if the parents offer to do all of the work themselves.  A lot like the reasons for research deficiencies, it costs too much money, the population is too small, or my personal favorite "no one would know what it's for" (um...that's the purpose).  So, parents move on, doing what they can in their circles, but feeling discouraged, unsupported.

October hits, and it feels like a punch in the gut. Pink newspapers, big pink ribbons on the state capital building, pink grocery shopping bags, pink cleats and towels and arm bands and whistles.  How come our kids aren't rallied around?  Why don't they wear gold for kids?

When these ladies set the pink pom poms down, and proudly stood wearing the Bengal's #75 jersey, I can only imagine the tears of Devon Still falling because these ladies noticed.  Mine fell because they noticed, a soul touching gesture of empathy...they noticed.  It was more than just a jersey.