KENDALL (CBSMiami) – Spending the holidays in a hospital is not where any child wants to be but Tuesday some kids at Baptist Children’s Hospital in Kendall got a special holiday visit from members of the Miami Dolphins football team who decided to trade in their helmets and pads for a different kind of uniform, a Santa suit.
When the children saw the giant football players walking through the door, the looks on their faces were priceless.
Smiles from ear to ear as these giant men came in; giants bearing gifts!
The kids, between 5 and 17 years old, met players, cheerleaders and even T.D. the team mascot. It’s a tradition they’ve done for more than 10-years.
Barely tall enough to reach some of the player’s knees, the kids who face larger than life illnesses, were allowed to forget their current situations in the arms of these larger than life players.
“It’s kind of stunning,” said 16-year-old Zachery Moorley. “Because so many people walked in. Like, I didn’t expect the dancers to here either. I just thought the football players were going to be here.”
As much as this event is about the kids, these manly men also got a bit emotional.
“You know you think you have it tough going through 2 a days and going through practice but this really puts a perspective on life,” said practice squad quarterback Brandon Doughty. “To be able to do that and put a smile on one of these kids’ faces, it’s unbelievable. You can’t really put it into words. It’s pretty surreal especially doing it at home.”
Although every week these guys have to face tough opponents on the field, what really stands out to them is how strong these kids are to face something like cancer each day.
“They are very tough, they going through a lot right now and just to see them lying in bed stuff hooked up to them, it’s so sad,” said offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil. “So I know they going through a lot and I know they tough.”
But Tuesday, it didn’t matter which battle each child was facing because they got to meet some of their heroes in real life and sometimes that’s the best medicine you can get.
“It was really nice,” said Moorley. “They were really appreciative and they really made me feel comforted.”
The players visited between 40-to-50 kids Tuesday. Each child was given a bag with lots of Miami Dolphins goodies including a T-shirt, stuffed animals and more.
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