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Brennen is Ready for the Big Game

Time to Cheer on East-West Shrine Bowl Pro, Nick Allegretti

While most of the Tampa Bay area is focused on cheering on the Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady in Super Bowl LV, Shriners Kid Brennen will be cheering for Nick Allegretti and the Kansas City Chiefs come Sunday. While he also loves the Bucs and supporting his local team, Brennen is a big fan of Allegretti and has been ever since the pair met in 2019.  

At the time, the now NFL star played college football for Illinois and was invited to participate in the 94th East-West Shrine Bowl. Prior to the game, the pair connected at the East-West player “meet & greet” event at Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida. They have been in contact ever since.

According to Brennen’s mother, Kolleen, the connection between Nick and her son was instant. They spent the day chatting, tossing the football around and getting to know one another. Nick even asked Kolleen to exchange phone numbers so she could share photos of him and Brennen from the event. A few short days later, Brennen proudly watched and rooted for his new friend from the stands.

“As Nick was running off the field after the game, Brennen called his name. He immediately looked up and acknowledged him,” Kolleen said. “Then Brennen asked for his gloves and without hesitation, Nick went into the locker room and gave them to Brennen to take home.”

Today, the bond between Brennen and the second-year offensive lineman remains strong. Since their first meeting two years ago, they have continued to keep in touch. Kolleen appreciates the sincere interest the athlete has for her son, and texts photos of Brennen playing football to Nick from time to time.

“Watching a hero of his head to the Super Bowl for the second time in two years is the greatest feeling,” Kolleen said. “He loved watching him in the championship game and is super excited for this weekend.”

Brennen was born with a dislocated hip and was referred to Shriners Healthcare for Children — Florida when he was just 2 weeks old. To correct this, Brennen wore a harness 24 hours a day for the first three months of his life. By the time he was 18 months old, his condition had improved to the point where he no longer needed bracing. To ensure his positive progress, the soon-to-be 12 year-old still continues to visit Shriners Healthcare in Florida so our team of physicians can monitor his hip.

“The doctors and nurses – the entire staff – they have always been so compassionate, great at communicating and accommodating with each and every visit,” Kolleen said. “For that, Shriners [Healthcare] will always be near and dear to my heart.”

Brennen and Allegretti

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