EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- High school football back in action in the Borderland and a special tradition out at Jefferson High School’s Silver Fox Stadium called the “Wave of Love.”
The Wave of Love is a way for the community to come together and bond with the young patients at the El Paso Children’s hospital who may not be able to attend a game in person.
Patients anxiously watched the clock from the hospital windows to wave hello to Jefferson High football players, cheerleaders and fans down at the stadium below, and the stadium waved back to them.
“It’s just really exciting because the kids get to see the community supporting them and loving on them and just kind of honoring them after the first quarter of the game so its just a nice bond that’s developed,” Meghan Kamau, the Child Life Coordinator at El Paso Children’s, said.
This tradition started last season in 2018 inspired by the University of Iowa who started waving at the children in the local hospital by its football stadium. It now continues here in El Paso at every Jefferson home game, which is something the hospital feels brings the community together especially after the recent August 3 mass shooting in El Paso.
“I think this year just because El Paso was so impacted just a few weeks ago and all of us coming together and supporting each other and being El Paso Strong, this is just another extension of that with the Wave of Love,” Kamau said.
A patient at the hospital, three-year-old Eli, played and laughed with other children as he awaited the wave.
“Having these events, it helps us get distracted helps him do something other than being in a room or knowing that he has to get medications,” Eli’s mother, Adriana Gomez, said.
Gomez said Eli is diagnosed with a form of leukemia, but enjoyed waiting for the Wave of Love for the first time since his time in the hospital.
“I think he’ll like the experiences and hopefully if we have to be hospitalized again its something he can look forward to other than just being in the hospital,” Gomez said.
Jefferson will continue the Wave of Love during each home game this season after the first quarter.