Patients at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) got to meet New England Patriots cheerleaders on Thursday.
Ashlynn Martel is nine years old and is going through chemotherapy after being diagnosed with medulloblastoma back in May. She spends a lot of time at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center getting treatment.
But the little girl from Stafford got a surprise visit from the New England Patriots cheerleaders on Thursday.
The three spoke about everything from stuffed animals to presents for Christmas.
"I’m guessing you want a lot of pink stuff right?," Patriots cheerleader Victoria Spadaro asked Martel who was wearing a pink knit hat.
The visits made Martel and every kid at the hospital smile. Spadaro, who is from Cromwell, said she’s happy to get the visit the many patients who could use a little holiday cheer.
"It’s amazing that how something so simple as a smile and a greeting can just make someone’s day and make their holiday season so I mean anything we can do to help, that’s what we’re here to do, that’s what we love to do," she said.
Martel's face was lit up meeting them.
"It’s so cool to see real-life cheerleaders right in front of you- I can’t even explain. It’s so cool," Martel said.
Martel's mother said the visit made her daughter's day.
"To meet someone from outside, like she said, someone she sees on TV and idolizes, trust me it made her day. It makes everything that has happened before that was harder, kind of forget that," Carrie Martel said. "She’ll remember that for a long time."
The visit was coordinated thanks to United Healthcare and Optum employee volunteers, who also delivered 107 handmade blankets to the hospital. A handful were given out already, but most of them will be given out on Christmas Eve.