‘Humanitarian’ isn’t the first word that comes to mind when talking about Rob Gronkowski. ‘Savage’ fits the bill. But, Gronk is low key one of the most generous dudes in professional sports, with his time and his money.
For the past five years, Gronk has frequented Boston Children’s Hospital as part of his partnership with One Mission, a charity that supports pediatric cancer patients and their families. He’s visited marathon bombing victims, shooting victims, and showed up unannounced to the hospital during the holiday season wearing an elf costume. He’s participated in Thanksgiving Goodwill events, holiday charity events and auctions, Department of Defense events (while in season) in support of families who are having tough times adjusting to having loved ones overseas.
The 28-year-old put that generosity on display once again. In connection with Make-A-Wish, Gronk recently visited Ryan Freeny, a 7-year-old suffering from neurofibromatosis (NF1)–a genetic condition in which tumors grow on nerves throughout the body and often cause bone deformalities, problems with vision, learning disabilities and high blood pressure, Purpose 2 Play reports.
At just two years old, Ryan had his leg amputated below the knee due to severe dysplasia and now he’s receiving chemotherapy for an optic tumor.
When asked for a wish, Ryan said he wanted a football field in his back yard. That was just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the video below and feel free to cry.
Gronk’s had a couple of nagging injuries that have kept him sidelined for a portion of the season, but it’s refreshing to see him shelf that frustration to give a kid a memory he’ll never forget.
P.S. This kid who comes up and just awkwardly grabs Gronk’s shoulder is me. At 30 years old.
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[h/t Purpose 2 Play]