Johnson: 'It was really special'


When the end of July rolls around Will Johnson will sign his share of autographs at Steelers training camp, bringing smiles to the faces of many young fans.

But none will have more of an impact than the ones he and teammates Matt Spaeth and C.J. Goodwin signed this past weekend.

The three players teamed up with car dealership in Grafton, West Virginia to help a young girl fighting a courageous battle.

McKenzie Flohr, 11, suffers from a rare form of leukemia and medical bills are piling up for her single father. When the story got out, people in Grafton knew they had to help, and enlisted Johnson who played at West Virginia University.

Fans lined up over the weekend to donate and meet the Steelers trio, who raised over $6,000 in just two hours.

"She has a rare type of leukemia and a single father who is raising her and her twin sister Mattie," said Johnson. "He needed some support for the medical bills. When he told me that, I was all for it. I grabbed Matt Spaeth and CJ Goodwin and we went down. We can use our platform and help this single father with medical expenses and do what we can to help raise money that is all good. It was a great turnout."

While raising the money was important, the highlight of the day for Johnson was getting to visit with Flohr at Ruby Hospital after the signing, in a room that overlooked Mountaineer Stadium.

"She is such a high energy girl. She was in good spirits," said Johnson. "You would never know she was sick. It was great to be able to see her. I was going to stop by on way down, but after her medicine she sleeps a lot. They said she is usually down, but she was full of energy. She is pretty remarkable. To be diagnosed with leukemia and still be smiling and happy as can be, it's great to see. She didn't feel bad for herself. I felt good she was in high spirits and the doctor said she was doing well. It was really special."

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