On Thursday, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward surprised a 14-year-old fan of the team, Jeffrey Flanders, and his family on NBC’s “TODAY with Hoda & Jenna.” Heyward joined the online call along with several sports trading card collectors who have given Flanders sports cards to help build his collection.
Isolation due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy for Flanders, who has cerebral palsy, so his parents looked for something to help him, something positive for him to keep his mind busy with. With Flanders being a huge Steelers fan, the hobby of collecting sports trading cards was just what he needed.
Flanders’ mother reached out on social media for help with the new card-collecting hobby, and people from all over started sending cards to her son.
“I thought somebody would say I’ve got a couple of cards and maybe we’d get two cards or five cards and add to his collection,” Mrs. Flanders said. “I consider a lot of these people friends, even though you have never met them.”
Heyward then surprisingly joined the call and talked to young Jeffrey and his family.
“I am a big fan of yours, Jeff,” Heyward said. “How are you doing, buddy? You guys have a great family and I love Jeff and got to hear a little bit about how he likes to collect football cards. Keep up the great work and keep supporting us.”
Mrs. Flanders described the experience.
“A lot of times I think people focus on the negative things around them and I think this just shows there is more good around than there is negative, Mrs. Flanders said. “You have to try and focus on that.”
You can watch the entire feature on Flanders in the video below and it is vert heartwarming.
.@DonnaFarizan introduces us to Jeffrey Flanders, a teen living with cerebral palsy who found joy in the football trading-card community. Watch as Jeffrey is surprised by fellow collectors and @Steelers player @CamHeyward! pic.twitter.com/l3niT7lqCJ
— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) March 5, 2021