NFL Superstar Rob Gronkowski Surprises Patients at Shriners Children's New England
Retired NFL superstar Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski made a surprise visit to Shriners Children’s New England in Springfield on December 20, 2022. The four-time Super Bowl champ came to spread holiday cheer to patients and their families.
Dressed as “Robbie the Elf,” Gronk shot hoops, painted, played air hockey and soccer, and even tried his hand at some origami. He brought gifts for each patient that included footballs, jerseys and sneakers, all of which he was happy to autograph.
“We are so honored that Rob chose to visit Shriners Children’s New England this holiday season,” said Frances Marthone, Ph.D., RN, administrator at Shriners Children’s New England. “He was extremely generous with his time and really brought a smile to our patients and staff. Many of our patients have conditions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. It can be quite challenging for the child but also the family. It’s so wonderful to be able to provide them all with an experience they will never forget!”
Eleven-year-old Sam, from Lynnfield, Massachusetts, was one of the patients who met with Mr. Gronkowski, along with his younger brother, Ben, and mother, Michelle. Sam wanted to say this to Mr. Gronkowski: “My brother and I were so excited to meet you! Thank you for all you shared with us, and for sharing your time with kids like me!”
Michelle expressed her gratitude to Shriners Children’s: “On behalf of Sam, Ben and myself, I just wanted to thank you and the entire Shriners team and organization for making two young boys’ dreams come true! This is a day that we will never forget! The boys so enjoyed their experience and are beyond grateful! We are so blessed that because of Shriners' hard work, Sam is thriving and growing. He is a real testament to what excellent care means in the life of a child who needs it!"
A Visit to Remember
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