Browns players on Tuesday delivered gift bags, smiles and memories at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and UH Babies & Children's Hospital as part of Browns Give Back's continued support of the NFL Crucial Catch campaign.
Joel Bitonio, Myles Garrett, Wyatt Teller, Cade York, Michael Dunn and Jacob Phillips all took part in the visits and went room-to-room to surprise guests and caregivers. The Browns also hosted a live edition of Cleveland Browns Daily, the daily in-house radio show, to engage with and show support of UH staff, patients and families, including interviews with UH doctors to promote cancer awareness.
Doctors, nurses, staff, caregivers and patients also all signed a banner with the words "I FIGHT FOR," which will be hung on the field wall at FirstEnergy Stadium for the Browns' Week 5 game against the Chargers.
"It's always a good experience for us," Joel Bitonio said. "Everyone here has a positive attitude, so it really puts it into perspective a lot of the time. For us, as players, it's a really good experience to get out and interact with people in the community."
The Browns haven't been able to hold an in-person visit to UH the last two years due to COVID-19 protocols. Previous "visits" were done virtually, and it was refreshing for the players and patients alike to be able to once again shake hands, share hugs and take photos together.
"I did this before COVID, and it was one of the things I liked doing as much as I could," Bitonio said. "Not being able to do it because of COVID was tough, and when I saw it on the schedule again this year, I was like, 'Oh yeah, I want to jump back in.' It's one of the things when you interact through the community where some people go through some really tough things in life, and for us to be here and hang out a little bit is a super easy experience for us. Hopefully it brightens their day, because it really brightens our day as well."
UH Seidman Cancer Center is home to the latest cancer treatment protocols and the most advanced innovation and technology for diagnosing and treating cancer. Among them are the PET/MRI machine, a hybrid scanner that helps physicians better understand disease development, as well as proton therapy, which targets cancer cells with pinpoint accuracy, and promising new techniques in immunotherapy, including CAR-T cell therapy, which uses the patient's own immune system to fight cancer.
Internationally renowned, UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital is a full-service children's hospital and pediatric academic medical center with experts in 16 medical divisions and 11 surgical specialties who offer nationally ranked care not available at other institutions in the region, including a center dedicated to adolescent and young adult cancer treatment and Northeast Ohio's only single-site provider of advanced maternal fetal medicine and neonatology services.
Continuing in 2022, the NFL, Browns and American Cancer Society have broadened the scope of their efforts to "tackle" and raise awareness for all types of cancer, in addition to breast cancer. The Browns will display their full support of the "Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer" campaign during the team's home game on Oct. 9 against the Los Angeles Chargers, presented by University Hospitals.
As part of Browns Give Back's continued support of the NFL Crucial Catch campaign, the Browns visited University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital patients on October 4, 2022.