PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — From the Linc to the lobby of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t bleed green.
“It’s amazing because I’m a die-hard Eagles fan,” said 12-year-old Donte Grinnaga, who has Crohn’s disease.
For many of the sick children at CHOP, they won’t be able to trick-or-treat for Halloween. So on Monday, Eagles players Beau Allen, Nigel Bradham, Steven Means, Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Joe Walker, who came dressed as a taco, decided to bring the holiday there. They handed out treats and spent some time with some of their biggest fans.
“This is one of the highlights of my week to be able to come out here and help in any way possible,” Walker said.
For Grinnage, this Halloween was one big treat.
“I got an Eagles key chain, I got signatures,” he said, “and a couple of Halloween things.”
“As soon as we told him the Eagles were coming, he jumped up out of bed, took a shower, and said, ‘We gotta go!” said Grinnaga’s mom, Katrina Brown.
While the Birds may have the top record in the NFL so far this season, some families say they’re number one for compassion, too.
“It brings a tear to my eye to see how happy he is because it’s a tough time,” said Rich Losey, whose 3-year-old stepson, Brayden Baldwin, has been battling rhabdomayosarcoma since June.
Since then, Brayden has endured multiple rounds of radiation and will undergo 52 weeks of chemotherapy next.
During the season, Eagles players typically give back through the Eagles Care Community Monday initiative.
“It takes our mind off everything we go through everyday,” Losey said.
Connie Hong says her four-year-old daughter Michelle, battling stage four neuroblastoma, wasn’t responding to any treatment for 18 months.
In a desperate effort, the family decided to travel back and forth from Los Angeles to the Children’s Hospital for MIBG therapy. She praises Dr. Yael Mosse and her oncology team for helping Michelle.
“Miraculously, most of her cancer just melted away. I’m tearing up just talking about it but the support is amazing,” she said. “She’s been asking to go trick-or-treating but we couldn’t take her anywhere so we lucked out and we’re very thankful.”
Eagle’s defensive tackle Beau Allen says hanging out and having fun with the kids at CHOP really makes him appreciate everything he has.
“It’s fun to see them so excited about something as simple as an Eagle’s lanyard or a pencil,” Allen said.
And Grinnage says he has one last treat he would like to get from the Eagles.
“I hope they make it to the Super Bowl,” he said.
And these kids have drawn their own loyal fan in wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
“I’m their #1 fan and supporter. What they’re going through in their life, they’re a lot stronger and tougher than any football player,” Jeffery said.
Because they catch the curves life throws at them and come back from every tackle a little stronger.