Tomorrow evening, the Cincinnati Bengals will present a check for more than a million dollars to Cincinnati Children’s to fund new pediatric cancer research. It is the hand-off of money that was raised selling my No. 75 jerseys and the outcome of more generosity and support than I ever could have imagined for my daughter and my family.
When we first decided to go public with my daughter’s story, the main purpose was to raise awareness and raise support and funds for research and families who are facing similar battles with pediatric cancer. There are many families who are not in the same position as me, where they have insurance to be able to have the freedom to be with their child.
When people started to step up and buy jerseys to help this fight against pediatric cancer it was amazing, it just shows how many people connect with this story and are supporting the cause.
Honestly, the amount of support has surprised me. I’d lost faith in humanity. Sometimes you turn on the TV and see a lot of negative things and you don’t know if there are good people still out there. Seeing how many people have stepped up to support my daughter and research funding has just shown how much the good outweighs the bad in the world.
The support from the Bengals organization and other NFL teams, coaches and players around the country has changed my perspective on sports. I thought, like everybody else, that football is just a business. But it is more than a competition on the field. When something this serious happens, everybody comes together to try to support the cause as much as possible and they have made me proud to be a member of the NFL.
When I see my jerseys I don’t think about football, I think about the amount of awareness that we’re raising. I think about how my daughter’s fighting this for a reason. When we first found out it was hard for my family but we didn’t want my daughter to go through this for no reason. We wanted something positive to come out of something negative.
My daughter can’t quite understand what she’s doing to this world, but us as her parents and her family we understand exactly what she’s doing, she’s changing the world. And every single person who has contributed in some way is helping her do it.
With awareness and funding, I hope that we find a cure. No kid should have to go through this. Our children are our future and as long as we continue to fight hard and try to find ways to save our children it will brighten our future and it will brighten the future of our children.
Ultimately, I hope this awareness will help out a lot of families that are going through the same thing so that not only my daughter can stand victorious but a lot of the families that are fighting this battle will be victorious too.
Everything that the Bengals have done and that fans have done, the public in general stepping up, speaks volumes about how much people are willing to fight this battle against pediatric cancer. And after this ends with my daughter, whatever route it goes, I hope people will continue to support not only me, but the families who are going through this because I think it’s important for these families to know that there is outside support and people who are praying for them. Thank you all for joining me in this effort, you’ve given our fight a greater purpose.