EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Arizona State University and Florida State University football players are going head to head in this year’s ‘Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Game’.
However before kickoff on New Year’s Eve, they brought smiles to little ones facing hardships at a couple of local hospitals.
“Those are the kind of things that are kids watch on TV and those are the kind of guys they look up to,” Robert Alvidrez, a parent shared.
These athletes made a few pit stops around the Borderland, including going to visit young patients at El Paso Children’s Hospital and Las Palmas, bringing a positive energy with them.
“So whenever they came in they were signing and offering photos, leaving posters out. You could see the excitement in the kids faces. They lit up, they got excited,” Alvidrez said.
“I’ve actually never seen this before so it really shined a light on how blessed I am and how strong they are to go through this every day and process it ever day,” Tannor Park, Receiver with ASU said, “With their family supporting and encouraging them, and trying to lift them up in spirits. It’s really awesome to see.”
Despite the sicknesses these kids go through, some parents like Alvidrez said the visit gave them a glimpse of hope, “There was one little boy who was asleep and he woke right up and wanted to take pictures with the football players. It just gives them something to think about outside of here and helps keep their dreams alive and gives them something to push forward to.”
Athletes said the main purpose of the visit was to show them they are not alone in the battles they face.
“Stay positive, and just let it all work out. Just have faith and trust the doctors what they’re doing,” Park shared.
“Just keep fighting. At first it will hit, but keep fighting and it’ll get better in the end. It always gets greater later,” James Blackman, Quarterback with FSU added.
The game kicks off at noon at the Sun Bowl Stadium on New Year’s Eve.