Jets Players Greet and Sign Autographs for Patients of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children
The kids of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children had the opportunity to watch and cheer on the New York Jets as they beat the Arizona Cardinals in East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday, September 28th, courtesy of Jets head coach, Eric Mangini.
Coach Mangini donated 31 tickets to the bayside hospital, and children and staff were treated to a day of football fantasy, as they got to watch their favorite NFL heroes in action on the field at Giants Stadium.
The excitement heightened when Marcus Harold, 13, and Ricky Linson, 18, brothers, and patients of St. Mary’s, were given royal treatment as they had pre-game VIP passes to watch the Jets warm-up practice from the field. Known at St. Mary’s as the Jets “biggest fans,” the brothers got to visit the locker rooms where players handed out hi-fives, autographed their helmets and took pictures with them and their mother, Iramae.
The New York football team’s generosity comes with no surprise as the team has created a strong bond with the kids of St. Mary’s stemming from Coach Mangini’s first visit to the hospital earlier this year, when he got an opportunity to tour the grounds and hang out with some of New York’s toughest children with special needs, battling complex medical and life-limiting conditions. Since then, he and his team have gone long distances for the kids of St. Mary’s.
The support continued to pour in as first round draft pick Dustin Keller and fifth round draft pick Erik Ainge brought their skills on the field to St. Mary’s courtyard, where they spent time with kids of St. Mary’s earlier this June. The rookie Jets players tossed around the football, gave out autographed hats and shared laughter and conversation with children and their families.
Wearing their navy and gold New York Titan throwback uniforms, Brett Favre hit Dustin Keller for a 24-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion bringing it home for the Jets with a score of 56-35. It looks like the kids of St. Mary’s brought the New York team a little good luck.