NEWS & EVENTS

Print
RSS

Hekker, Zuerlein Kick Cancer at St. Claire Hospital

Posted Nov 9, 2015

Last month, St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Johnny Hekker visited St. Claire Hospital in Fenton and participated in the second annual “SSM Health Rooftacular Challenge.”

Last month, St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Johnny Hekker visited St. Claire Hospital in Fenton and participated in the second annual “SSM Health Rooftacular Challenge.” As part of the special kicking event, the Rams Pro Bowl punter kicked a football off the roof of the hospital in an effort to raise awareness for the SSM Health “Kick Cancer” campaign, which benefits patients who are battling cancer.

“I think everyone knows someone who has cancer,” Zuerlein said. “Doing something like this is very cool. Just being here raising money for cancer research and meeting the patients and doctors is the best part about this whole visit.”

After the kick from the roof, Hekker and Zuerlein spent time with patients in the hospital. The excitement was palpable, as patients immediately smiled and conversed with the players. One patient wore his Rams polo and hat, which Hekker and Zuerlein gladly autographed.

“To first hear the man was eagerly awaiting our arrival was special,” Hekker said. “Then we get into his room, and he had his Rams shirt on and was just so energetic to see us. That’s very uplifting to us to see the brand that we get to represent and the team we get to play for can lift people up and be an inspiration. To have the opportunity to touch people’s lives in a positive way and help people get through some difficult times is very special.”  

Hekker and Zuerlein also visited patients in the infusion center, where the guys met everyone receiving treatment. The two signed autographs, took photos with the patients and witnessed the impact of the Kick Cancer initiative.

“A lot of the patients are going through some really rough times,” Hekker said. “It’s moving to see we’re doing more than just entertaining people with our talents. The most rewarding part is seeing the smiles on their faces and seeing the blankets, the scarves, the things that make this time more comfortable for them. That’s what’s really special to us.”

Last season, Hekker and Zuerlein, along with long snapper Jake McQuaide and the St. Louis Rams, joined with SSM Health to launch the Kick Cancer campaign and are continuing the partnership this season. For every Rams point kicked, fans can pledge a set amount of money to the campaign. Proceeds benefit SSM Health and patients who are battling cancer.  

“The Rams have been fantastic during the Kick Cancer partnership, and the guys are the ones that make it happen,” said Ellis Hawkins, president of St. Claire Hospital. “They’re just so gracious and really care about what they’re doing.”

To pledge your support to the Kick Cancer campaign, visit www.givetossmhealth.org/kick-cancer.