On Sunday, September 20th, Baltimore Ravens Tight End Todd Heap was in San Diego scoring touchdowns in the team’s victory over the Chargers. Two days later Heap was not spending his day off sleeping through the jet lag or celebrating the Ravens win. He spent the day visiting with patients at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center through the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults' Patient Navigation program. He was celebrating a different kind of victory for the patients - a FIGHT - a victory in progress.
Heap began his tour of the hospital by meeting with Dr. Mothan Suntha, Vice Chair of Radiation Oncology and Associate Director of UMGCC. Dr. Suntha educated the tight end on the advanced technology that the cancer center offers its patients. Heap spent the rest of his time in the hospital visiting with the patients. He went door–to-door in various units of the cancer center.
The two-time Pro Bowler chatted with each patient and listened to their stories, struggles and triumphs. He would tell the patients how cancer has affected his life and family, and commended them on their strength and positive attitudes. Ladona Haley, a patient who is fighting cancer but still manages to be the Ravens # 1 fan, told Heap, “I am fighting this like you fight out there every Sunday.”
For a moment, these brave cancer fighters were able to forget about all of the challenges that they are facing in their lives or that lie ahead, and got the opportunity to meet an extraordinary athlete and incredible person. His impact was powerful and it was felt throughout the entire cancer center and cancer community. It is safe to say that the patients and employees will never forget the day # 86 came to visit. On behalf of all those who are living with, through and beyond cancer and the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, thank you for FIGHTING, Todd!