It’s easy to get excited in the lead-up to Atlanta United’s debut at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and its subsequent season-defining home stretch coming up this month. But in the quiet before the storm, some Atlanta United players got some perspective on what’s most important: reaching out and making a difference in the Atlanta community.
Several Atlanta United players visited the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston Hospital to kick off the club’s Unite & Conquer Cancer campaign, part of a league-wide initiative to help raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer.
“My teammates and I came out today to try to put some smiles on kids’ faces,” Atlanta United defender Bobby Boswell said. “Not only them but their families that are going through a very tough time. If we can make their day just a little better and a little brighter, then I think we’ve done a good job.”
As part of the day, the players met patients and their families, played games and just got to know some of the fearless young men and women fighting a brave fight at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“We were just trying to let them have some time doing some things that get them up,” said midfielder Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu. “With all the hardships they go through, just to get some time to put that aside for an afternoon and enjoy themselves. Some enjoy sports, some don’t, but it gives everyone a chance to interact and just try to have a good time.”
Unite & Conquer Cancer is a campaign launched with the help of a young woman named Muna Ahmed. Muna is an Atlanta native and two-time cancer survivor who’s committed to helping other cancer fighters by inspiring strength, fearlessness and happiness.
“I think everyone has been affected by cancer on some level,” Boswell said. “There’s a lot being done to try and cure cancer and save people’s lives. Children in general, they’re the most important generation. I think it’s important not just for me but for everyone to come out and support the people that are fighting, the people that are going through that process, but also to raise awareness, to raise some funds, and let people know that we’re thinking about them and we’re trying to help them.”
The players pointed out it’s important to recognize the positive things happening at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – not just the bravery of the young people but the hard work of the medical teams as well.
“You have to remember the good work the doctors are doing,” Boswell added. A lot of these kids are going to come out of this stronger and better, and they’re going to one day remember we were there supporting them and helping them get through their everyday struggle.”
In the meantime, a little positivity can go a long way.
“It can be heartbreaking to go into a room and meet these families,” Boswell admitted. “But at the same time if you see as a smile on their face that wasn’t there before you go there, that for me is all the reward we need.”
For more information on the Unite & Conquer Cancer initiative, including how you can get involved, just click here. There you can learn more about the life-changing organizations the club has partnered with, and how you can help.