Russell Wilson continued his Tuesday tradition.
With help from his girlfriend:
This was the latest of the Seahawks quarterback’s weekly visits to Seattle Children’s Hospital, the pediatric referral center for the Pacific Northwest. The hospital is located in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of northeast Seattle, where Wilson was renting a house until he recently bought a mansion in west Bellevue on Lake Washington.
We can debate his choice of throws, whether he holds onto the ball too long or takes sacks he needn’t take, that he didn’t throw it high enough to Jimmy Graham for him to catch a touchdown pass in last weekend’s game. Many knock him for his packaged public speaking and a persona that is almost too good to be true for some cynics.
But if you knock him for what he’s been doing every Tuesday in Seattle for years, you’ve got issues. Sad, keep-them-away-from-me issues.
Wilson went to Seattle Children’s this Tuesday after he and the Seahawks watched film of Sunday’s 26-0 win over Chicago. My wife is a speech-language pathologist at Seattle Children’s. She says the staff there really looks forward to Tuesdays, so much so it has started a “Blue Tuesday” tradition on the campus because of the QB. She sees the effects Wilson’s visits have on the patients and their families there, both in the anticipation before he arrives and the appreciation after he leaves. Seahawks gear has become normal duty attire for many who work there.
Wilson isn’t hanging out in the hospital lobby or cafeteria fronting with the masses, either. Wilson goes into the hospital’s most critical situations in the intensive-care and cancer units. As the “Doritos” video above shows, he mocks up in protective outerwear and gloves to be at the bedside of the most contagious and at-risk kids.
Some knock Wilson for promoting these visits on social media and being self-serving. That’s ignorant. Fact is, the posts of Wilson’s visits are enormous sources of pride and appreciation for the kids he is highlighting and their families. Those of us who are not in those heart-breaking situations can’t even imgaine. The hospital encourages -- and as you can see above from the Seattle Children’s Twitter account, even facilitates -- the sharing of the images across the internet.
Last week during his weekly Thursday session with the media at team headquarters Wilson was finishing because there were no further questions. Then he mentioned a patient he had met that week at Seattle Children’s, Ailynn Arredondo. He had posted an Instagram photo and entry last week about her.
Ailynn died the day after that post.
“I want to say another thing,” Wilson said the day after that, last Thursday. “I’m sure people have paid attention, but just Ailynn -- such a sweet girl, first of all. I’m fortunate enough to go to the Children’s Hospital every Tuesday and I get to see a lot of kids, and unfortunately sometimes you see a kid and they pass away. Sometimes you get to see them on their last few days. Sometimes you may not see them for another couple months and then they pass.
“But just a special girl. I pray that everybody keeps their family in their prayers and all that, and just anything that you can do to help people. That’s the best thing we can do as people, especially with kids, like the Children’s Hospital... Thank you guys. Go Hawks!"