Three Bills players took time out of their schedule this past weekend to lend a hand and an ear to answer phones during the 50th Annual Variety Kids Telethon to benefit Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo.
Mike Jasper, Alex Carrington and Dwan Edwards appeared on camera during the "Buffalo Bills Hour" of 3PM – 4PM this past Sunday. They took pledge calls, visited with the volunteers, signed autographs and took pictures.
"This means a lot to me," said Carrington. "A very good friend of mine's younger brother passed away from leukemia when he was 13 so I know the importance of a good hospital that specializes in kids. It's just nice to come out and really participate in something that hits so close to home."
Most importantly, Mike, Alex and Dwan got to spend some special time with Casey and Coral Swan, this year's celebrity kids.
The two young twin girls were born premature and spent the first 10 weeks of their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit at Women & Children's. Ventilators to assist with breathing, groundbreaking techniques to keep the infants effectively nourished and several other complications had to be hurdled by the physicians and nursing staff before the girls could go home.
Still, the need for regular house calls from doctors and nurses became part of the norm for the twin girls. They'd be additionally challenged in the two years that followed with Casey dealing with a form of cerebral palsy and Coral with a tethered spinal cord. Both girls also had bouts with pneumonia among other ailments. They persevered through it all thanks mainly to the efforts of the Women & Children's Hospital staff.
"I have 3 kids and we live in Buffalo year round so if God forbid something happens I feel comfortable and know exactly where to take them knowing they're in great hands," said Edwards. "What some kids have to go through, it's just not fair and we'll never know why they do but it's good to know that there's so many people out there trying to help out in their own way."
The final total of funds raised by the weekend telethon was $1.201(M) million.
"To see everyone working together to raise money for such a worthy cause was awesome," said Jasper. "Knowing that I'm a part of this great community is a good feeling and I know that the rest of the guys feel that way too."