CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati Bengals player Geno Atkins and his wife, Kristen, held a holiday party for patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on Friday.
The party, part of the annual “Atkins Week of Giving,” saw 100 patients enjoy some crafts and receive gifts.
“We wanted them to smile, we wanted them to feel special,” Kristen told FOX19 NOW. “We wanted them to feel like it’s Christmas even though they’re not at their home.”
“I feel like it’s a good way to get out of your room and clear your mind from all of the craziness,” Children’s Hospital patient Hope Weaver said.
Weaver is inpatient at Children’s waiting for a heart transplant. Instead of picking out a gift for herself, she got something for her sister.
Kristen and Geno say they know what it’s like to have a sick kid. Their son was in the NICU when he was first born. He’s now 10 months old.
“Just us being parents, we know what people are going through and want to be a bright light to them,” Kristen Atkins explained.
Kristen used to work Cincinnati Children’s too. She says being a mom and a nurse gives her a unique perspective.
Geno says his son is a handful right now, busy exploring everything in their house and crawling everywhere. But Geno is looking forward to spending his first Christmas as a family together.
“It will be his first Christmas, so we’re excited,” Geno said smiling. “He’s 10 months now, so he’s very active."
Even though many of the kids attending the Atkins’ holiday party will spend Christmas morning in the hospital, they say today is something they will always remember.
“Thank you for helping me get out of my room and get my mind cleared from everything,” Weaver exclaimed.
This annual “Atkins Week of Giving” officially wraps up Saturday with a special surprise, according to the Atkins.