From left: 49ers Daniel Kilgore, Leonard Davis, Al Netter, Kenny Wiggins and Joe Staley visited UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital to bring some holiday cheer to patients on Dec. 17.
The San Francisco 49ers had major cause for celebration after they defeated the New England Patriots on Sunday in what many call the best game of the NFL season. But instead of hitting the town, they boarded a plane and flew through the night to make sure they got back to San Francisco to support some of their smallest and most loyal fans.
49ers offensive linemen Daniel Kilgore, left, and Leonard Davis visit with J.J. Thompson and his mother.
With big smiles on their faces and not a hint of fatigue from their overnight flight, several offensive linemen from the San Francisco 49ers visited UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital on Monday to spread a bit of good cheer.
Hulking linebackers Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Daniel Kilgore, Leonard Davis, Al Netter and Kenny Wiggins signed just about everything in sight, from hospital gowns to diapers, and handed out toys with the 49ers logo.
But the visit wasn’t only about autographs. It was an opportunity for the players to get to know the patients at the 180-bed UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, talking to them about their strength while facing medical challenges, the holidays, and of course, football. They played video games with patients, sat at bedsides and answered questions from parents and grandparents.
49ers offensive linemen Leonard Davis, left, and Daniel Kilgore pose for a photo with patient Christopher Hagiwara.
“I cannot imagine how tired they must have been – Sunday’s game was grueling even for all of us fans - yet the 49ers came to UCSF and gave of themselves on their day off,” said Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. “I cannot tell you how much that meant to the kids, families and our staff. What a class act.”
After several hours with patients and their families, the 49ers left the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital with hopes to return in the off-season. Maybe next time they’ll be wearing a new Superbowl ring.