Sweed brings smiles to kids


By Teresa Varley

Wide receiver Limas Sweed knows how lucky he is to be playing in the NFL. He knows how lucky he is to being doing something he loves. But more importantly he knows how lucky he is to be healthy.

That is why it was so important for him to share some time with kids at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh who aren't as lucky to have that blessing of good health.

Sweed visited kids who were hospitalized for complications or treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia. It's a disease that has impacted some of Sweed's friends, but not something he knew a lot about before his visit.

"I know it affects kids and a lot of people," said Sweed. "Some of those kids are young and they might not have a long life. They know that. I just wanted to brighten up their day up a little bit."

Sweed spent time with the kids shooting pool and playing Wii, anything to get their mind off of what they are going through.

"It was a lot of fun," said Sweed. "I got to talk to a lot of kids about sickle cell. I learned more about it. They were happy to see me. It was fun, but sad. It was kind of sad hearing them talk about it. But it was cool too because their eyes lit up when they saw an NFL football player."

And for Sweed it was a reminder of how precious life is and how much he has going for him.

"Any time you can come from something with a positive experience it makes you appreciate life," said Sweed. "We are out here running, lifting weights and getting stronger. That could have been me. I could have had sickle cell not being able to be out here running around doing what I love to do. It made me more thankful and appreciative of life, being healthy and being in the position I am in."

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