Green Bay Packers Coach Visits Children's Hospital

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MADISON – When the patients and families of American Family Children's Hospital learned they'd have a special visitor, they knew the only proper attire included green and gold apparel.

Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and his wife, Jessica, visited with nearly every patient at the Children's Hospital, answering questions, signing autographs and having their pictures taken with the families.
The McCarthy's visit was made possible by David Thomason of Fan 4 Ever.

"We had Grandma stop by home to pick up our [Packers] jerseys," laughed Heidi Jagoe, whose son Michael is recovering from spine surgery.

The McCarthys were at American Family Children's Hospital to announce the kick off of the Coach Mike McCarthy and Friends Charity Golf Tournament. The tournament, scheduled for summer 2010, will benefit the American Family Children's Hospital.

"We've been so impressed with this facility," said McCarthy. "This is a truly remarkable place and we're just excited for the opportunity to be a part of it."

Jeff Poltawsky, vice president of American Family Children's Hospital commented, "We are honored that Coach McCarthy has decided to host a golf tournament next year to benefit the American Family Children's Hospital and its programs and services."

The details of the tournament will be finalized in the coming weeks. But the excitement is already palpable.

Jim Gilmore, development program manager said, "We are so grateful to Coach and Mrs. McCarthy for their visit to American Family Children's Hospital. It is emblematic of their love of children and their desire to improve the spirits of each child in our hospital."

The McCarthy's certainly did improve the spirits of the patients and their families. Many parents commented that it was, "just the lift" their child needed.

"This is such a nice treat for the families," said Jagoe. Her son Michael and his older sister Abby agreed.
"It's great!" they said, with big smiles.
Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy signs an autograph for a young patient at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin

Coach McCarthy with John Link and his mom, Kimberly.

For John Link, a young athlete from Cambria, the visit really made his day.

Only 13-years-old, Link has an extremely rare childhood cancer; less than 50 cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. Kimberly, John's mom, shared the story of a time John and his dad attended a Packers game.

"He called from the game, so excited. He said he was eating a hamburger and it was, 'the best hamburger ever,'" she laughed.

While the visit brightened the day of the patients and their families, it was the children that left a strong impression on the McCarthys.

"Children are truly little gifts," said Mrs. McCarthy, "I so admire their strength."

Coach McCarthy concluded, "To see the resiliency of these children is really impressive. Having the opportunity to meet them, I'm the one that's blessed."

Date Published: 07/28/2009

News tag(s):  children

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