It was a busy, and giving day, for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs as he visited two kids at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. Diggs teamed up with the hospital and CenturyLink to bring some Holiday cheer to these deserving kids and their families.
Diggs played Santa as he delivered a CenturyLink BoostBox to Jack, 13, and signed jerseys for his brothers Evan, 11, and Drew, 8. The BoostBox included a signed jersey, iPad, Vikings scarf, gloves and hat, tickets to an upcoming game, and an X-Box.
While Jack was not feeling good earlier in the morning, Diggs lifted his sprits and brightened his day as they talked for almost a half hour about the level of skill they had at X-Box, both Diggs and Jack admitted they weren’t that good. Jack says this season has brought a lot of excitement and he can get loud during the games, even louder than the cheerleaders who were also on hand to spread some holiday cheer. Diggs was also determined to win Jack over as his top Vikings player. Diggs said he, “had time to convince him” that this was possible. Diggs had said that Jack was now, “family” and he was happy to come back and chat some more.
Diggs said it is important to be able to come to the children’s hospital and come out and spread holiday cheer, even if its only for a little while. “You know it’s the holiday season, to see kids go through definitely a tough time, not only the kid(s) but their families. It’s rough, but for me to come out here and be a part of something special that gives them some joy and something to smile about is definitely heartwarming to me. Hopefully it cheers them up a little bit.”
Diggs mission of spreading joy was not done after his visit with Jack. He then went onto surprise another patient name Dante, 16, who was with his mother Yolanda. Dante was diagnosed with cancer over Thanksgiving and was told by Yolanda that he had to get to the hospital early for his first clinic appointment, he was instead directed to a conference room where Diggs, who was accompanied with two Vikings cheerleaders and Viktor the Viking, was waiting to surprise Dante with another CenturyLink BoostBox and an X-Box. Dante’s face as he walked in said it all, pure happiness as he saw one his favorite players standing before him.
Diggs greeted Dante and said, “Don’t be so shy.” As Dante walked over to hug Diggs and talk about the gifts that he was given. When Diggs took the gifts out and got to the tickets, Dante admitted that he had never been to a game and it was on his “bucket list.” Diggs said he would see Dante, “real soon” and that he was “happy to be here” and that he would come by and play X-Box soon. Diggs spent around 25 minutes with Dante and his mom talking about the support that has been given to them by the hospital and family members and how even though he had the X-Box, Dante still had to focus on school work.
Even though Diggs time was limited today, he said it is important to give back to the community. “We don’t get a lot of time but that’s no excuse. For the position that we are in, we’re definitely fortunate and a lot of kids who are not as fortunate they need a little extra love.”
“I feel happy.” He says of coming to the hospital today. “It’s a heartwarming thing for me.” But for Diggs, the theme of the day is family. “We’ve all been through a rough time, and the people that you lean on is your family. Because you’ve been with them your whole life.” He says of his own family that, “my mom never left my back.” And that type of support is what he wants to extend to these kids and their families. “(These) kids that are going through a lot, going through some adversities, hopefully I can give them a little bit extra encouragement and a little extra love. You know love conquers all.”