It was a gloomy day in Kansas City on Thursday, but Sporting KC players Soony Saad and Dom Dwyer were able to brighten the afternoon for some local children. The duo teamed up with the Shadow Buddies Foundation and visited Children’s Mercy Hospital. Shadow Buddies are condition-specific dolls designed to be a friend just like me for seriously ill or medically challenged children. The foundation created their first professional soccer dolls in the likeness of both Soony and Dom this year complete with their names and numbers on them to hand out to children and sign.
During their visit to the hospital the guys stopped by a few patients' rooms as well as two different playrooms where families are able to interact and spend time away from the confines of their rooms. In the playrooms the guys got to kick around a ball and play games with the children, while also talking and getting to know them. Some serious World Cup soccer discussions occurred and each child was given a Shadow Buddy and had a chance to take pictures with the guys.
Even though the visit was just an hour, it was more than enough time to create lasting memories and provide hope to the families.
Here are thoughts on how the day went from both Saad and Dwyer:
“My favorite part of the day was seeing how happy the kids were when we gave them their very own Shadow Buddy”, Saad said. “We were able to interact with them and their families and I think I had just as much fun as they did.”
“The best part of today was definitely seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing their laughter,” Dwyer recalled. “Just knowing that you’re being a positive distraction for them and affecting them in a positive way. It was a heartwarming experience.”