Pro athletes spreading good cheer during hospital visits are a welcome staple of the holiday season.
Chiefs safety Eric Berry visiting a children’s hospital during Christmas week carries additional meaning.
Berry visited Children’s Mercy Hospital on Tuesday, not just to make an appearance but to deliver presents and spend time with patients in a familiar setting.
Two years ago, Berry spent Christmas Eve in a hospital, battling Hodgkin lymphoma.
“I know what it feels like to be in a hospital on Christmas Eve, and it’s not a fun feeling,” Berry said. “Just to have one little spark of hope, or just one little toy, it makes all the difference.”
Berry, who was named to his fifth Pro Bowl earlier in the week, teamed his foundation with Van Autoplex, country singer Travis Marvin and friends and family to deliver 6,600 toys, 500 gift bags, $1,250 in gift cards and a total of $23,000 in cash donations to the hospital’s “Stock the Snowflake Shoppe.”
The shop at Children’s Mercy allows parents and caregivers to select gifts for children and family members in the hospital at no cost. The donations come from community groups, corporate partners, past patients and pro athletes like Berry.