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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 28, 1995 - 11A
Athletes show they care
ichigan players visit children at University Hospitals
ily Sports WriterM
iMost hockey players are pretty fa-
,iar with hospitals.
Anyone who has been on skates for
Speriod of time has fractured a few
q or needed stitches at one time
but when the Michigan hockey team
ft to University Hospitals yester-
, it wasn't because of a broken
,od' r a split chin.
JInost every player on Red
renson's team, football players Joe
[arinaro and Mike Sullivan and
asketballer Neal Morton made their
ay to Mott's Children's Hospital to
sit sick children yesterday evening.
the trek turned out to be a success
biot just for the young patients, but
SMichigan athletes as well.
-"I think the kids like to see athletes
-'here," junior center Brendan
§rrison said. "It's good to see a few
i iles on their faces."
'Me icers had never made a trip to
Fott's as a team before. But the Michi-
iSports Information Community
rJtions Department has organized
ips to visit ill children at University
ospitals for years.
The football team and the basket-
ill4eam have both made visits. Indi-
dual athletes from almost every sport
ve made the time to brighten a few
yes at Mott's.
Desmond Howard and Juwan
oward have both been part of the
ogram. Many athletes even ask when
e next trip is. The answer is every
'ednesday. And some of the Wol-
rines said they would love to make
second trip. ,
"If we can make a few kids a little
ppier, it's worth it," junior
fenseman Chris Frescoln said. "I
uld definitely like to come back."
As it is, Michigan players toured
ree floors of Mott's Hospital for
out two hours.
The team visited cancer, cardiac
"This is my first
time visiting I
didn't really know
what to axpecL
But 1 think the kids
just like having
someone in their
room who isn't a
doctor or a nurse. "
-- Steven Halko
Michigan hockey player
and bum patients in the intensive care
Almost all of the patients were chil-
dren under 10 years old. Most were so
sick, they could barely talk to the
players. But each one could muster a
smile when the athletes introduced
Each kid received an autographed
hat and poster of the hockey team as
well as a photograph of themselves
with the players.
Some of the children were recep-
tive, while others were too ill to re-
spond, but each one seemed a little bit
happier when five extra people were
in the room.
And don't be mistaken, the players
were a little happier themselves.
"It was tough to leave some of the
rooms when the kids are so happy,"
Frescoln said. "If we can make these
kids happy, we'd love to do it.
"It's been a great experience. Their
smiles we're unexpectedly reward-
One child asked for a hockey player
to stay with him for a few hours.
Another wanted to take one of the
Wolverines home with them instead
of just a picture.
A few babies even had their pic-
tures taken in the arms of 6-foot-5,
280-pound Mike Sullivan, who was
forced to end his football career two
months ago beacuse of back injuries.
The fact that Sullivan is no longer
with the football team doesn't stop
him from visiting Mott's often.
For the hockey team, which doesn't
start official practice until Monday,
the trip was heart warming and a bit
"This is my first time visiting,"
team captain Steven Halko said. "I
didn't really know what to expect.
But I think the kids just like having
someone in their room who isn't a
doctor or a nurse."
Most players remarked that the chil-
dren gave them a slightly different
perspective on life and each one said
they were glad that they came. Some
will come again. Some more than
The thought of a six-year old child
battling cancer and receiving
chemotherpy twice a day may scare
some people. But not Michigan ath-
letes. No matter how gratifying their
visit was, they know that what really
matters are the kids.
And they realize that their bumps
and bruises aren't so bad.
Above: Michigan hockey player Chris
Frescoln signs a poster for a patient at
Mott's Children's Hospital, yesterday.
Left: Michigan athletes pose with
Lindsey Derrick-Lauder and her mother,
Dawn Derrick at the Hospital. Lindsey
received a picture along with an
autographed hat and poster.
Far left: Frescoln visits with patient
Eugene Vermeesch, a hockey player
Photos by NOPPORN KICHANANTHA/Daily
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Thursday, October 5, 1995
Tuesday, January 9, 1996
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