INDIANAPOLIS — While many children are enjoying the freedom that comes with spring break, hundreds of children facing challenging medical conditions enter the doors at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, in hopes of returning soon to their normal school routine. On Thursday, March 28, 2013, the Indianapolis Colts delivered hope in a basket to approximately 50 patients at Riley Hospital. The delivery was a part of the Colts’ “Basket of Hope” program. Colts TE
With baskets in tow, the players ventured to the fifth floor of the hospital, which serves as the temporary home for dozens of patients being treated for critical burns and cancer-related illnesses. The offensive trio of Allen, Brown and Ijalana spent time with children fighting cancer, aged one-month to 20-years-old. While the smaller children stared in amazement, the older children welcomed the break from medical jargon to discuss fun topics, such as college basketball and March Madness.
Defensive linemen Moala and Lutrus visited patients in the burn and stem cell units, whose patients smiled with excitement at the sight of the special visitors. These units host patients who are required to spend most of their time in isolation, due to risk of infection. The players were able to visit most of the children in-person after thorough sanitation and dressing in medical gowns and masks.
The Basket of Hope organization delivers baskets filled with Bibles, inspirational books for parents and children, journals, music, toys and games to children recently diagnosed with cancer and other serious illnesses. The Colts embraced the program as a team initiative when former Head Coach Tony Dungy became the national spokesperson for Basket of Hope in 2002. Since then, the Colts have continued to support the mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of children with illnesses. During Super Bowl XLVI, the Colts helped launch the “Super Baskets of Hope” initiative, which assembled and delivered more than 7,000 baskets to children in hospitals throughout all 32 NFL markets.
To check out photos from the 2013 “Basket of Hope” delivery visit, click here.