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Patriots invite breast cancer patients to annual Day of Pampering
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For five women at Massachusetts General Hospital [MGH], Tuesday started as another round of treatment – chemotherapy to fight breast cancer – but by late morning, one patient said that "it was the best chemo day ever.”
Patriots Jordan Richards, Brandon King and Justin Coleman paid a visit to these women and extended an invitation from the Kraft family, the Patriots and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation for a Day of Pampering on Thursday, Oct. 13.
This marks the second year the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation has hosted a “Day of Pampering” for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The day during Breast Cancer Awareness Month includes a trip to Gillette Stadium, breakfast, yoga, time at the spa and other activities.
“It’s time for relaxation to take your mind off of things and enjoy yourselves,” Brandon told one of the women on Tuesday.
The five women at MGH are among 12 who will be treated to a day of relaxation. Erika Rosato, RN, OCN, NE-BC, MHA, serves as MGH’s Nursing Director for the Infusion Unit and said days like this make a tremendous impact on patients.
“They have something to talk about with their family and friends other than, ‘I got my chemotherapy today and I’m not feeling 100 percent.’ They go home and they’re like, ‘You will not believe what happened when I went for my chemo today,’” Erika said. “I think for the caregivers it’s huge. For patients, it’s an inspiration to keep going and keep trying, and they see these guys working hard every day and that’s what they’re doing. They’re working hard every day to get through their treatments.”
Brandon, Jordan and Justin personally invited each woman to the Day of Pampering and presented them with a gift bag and autographs, but they weren’t done. The Patriots made their way across the Infusion Unit to visit with cancer patients receiving treatment.
For the players, their weekly day off became a chance to brighten the days of those at MGH.
“It’s hard to make someone sincerely happy, but just walking around the corner, there were a couple of people before I even got around the corner I already saw them smiling. That’s priceless,” Brandon said. “If you see all the fight and pain people go through, the smiles that you can put on their faces, it’s just motivation for you to go out and continue to make an impact on their life because at the end of the day they’re out there fighting for their lives. Anything you can do to just make it lighter on them or lessen the situation I feel is a big thing to be a part of.”
The visit to MGH was Justin’s hospital visit as a Patriot, and he said the day put a lot of things into perspective.
“They’re fighting for their life while we’re fighting for a win. When you see it like that it makes you appreciative for everything you have and everything you’ve gone through,” Justin said.
Throughout the day, the trio encountered patients who reminded them what strength and courage in the face of hardship looks like. They talked football, took selfies and shared laughs all morning, and Jordan said those are moments he “doesn’t want to take for granted.”
“The moments you get to create that are so much bigger than football and come as a result of football,” Jordan said. “We’re so blessed and thankful to be out on the field doing that. To see the impact you can make off the field truly makes you appreciative and thankful for each and every day and trying to make the most of each and every day.”
While Brandon, Jordan and Justin visited with patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nate Solder and his wife Lexi went to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to invite women to the Day of Pampering, and others were invited through Dannon’s partnership with the NFL for “A Crucial Catch.”
For more pictures from both visits, check out the photo gallery below. Read