By Teresa Varley
All it takes is one look at five-year old Emma Chichilla to understand why Brett Keisel and some of his Steelers teammates took part in the Cystic Fibrosis 65 Roses Sports Auction at Margarita Mama's at Station Square.
"To be around her and see her smile and laugh pulls strings on your heart when you see it first hand like that," said Keisel. "I have relatives with the same disease so anything we can do. It's easy for us to do too. We go out there, show our faces and sign some autographs. It makes a big difference that's why it's important to do it."
Chichilla, who serves as one of the CF Ambassadors, was on hand at the event along with others who suffer from CF, sporting a shirt with a photo of her and Keisel that was taken last year and the number 99 ½ on it.
"Brett has a big heart and once he met Emma and some of our other kids who have the challenge of CF in their every day lives, I think that gave a face that he can relate to," said Pat Joseph, the executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of CF." When you can let them be a part of it and start a relationship with some of our faces in CF."
Keisel was joined by a dozen of his teammates who signed autographs for those in attendance and then some took part in helping raise more funds during the live auction.
"To have the support of the Steelers and the players and that it means that much to them to take time out of their day and do this, means the world to us,"said Joseph. "It's fantastic. They are right in the heat of their season.
"I can't get over what they do not just for CF, but all the charities and how giving they are, I have so much respect for the players and the entire franchise."