In his 13th NFL season, team captain and All-Pro Left Tackle Andrew Whitworth continues to make serving his community a top priority.
On Monday, October 8, in partnership with Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, the Rams hosted the 'LA Rams Night for Wishes' charity event to raise funds to fulfill the wishes of local children battling life-threatening illnesses. Whitworth served as the host of the event and encouraged teammates such as Pro-Bowl Quarterback Jared Goff, Pro-Bowl Punter Johnny Hekker and others to join him in granting the wish of a special fan and supporting Make-A-Wish's mission to help make other wishes come true for local children and families.
"I've been blessed to play in this league for 13 years and to be a part of some really good seasons," said Whitworth. "But making a difference in someone's life will go beyond football any day of the week."
For Santa Barbara native and 17-year-old teen Gilbert Cabrera, receiving his "wish" of going to a Rams home game would have been just enough. Battling chronic ulcerative colitis, Cabrera was homeschooled last fall and had surgery for a partial colectomy. Due to complications, Gilbert had to have three follow-up surgeries and spent one long month in ICU. Throughout it all, a bright spot for him has been watching the Rams and star running back Todd Gurley, who Cabrera wishes to meet one day. On Monday night, the Rams and Make-A-Wish invited Gilbert to the "Night of Wishes." Gilbert, who thought he was just attending the event as a guest, was surprised when Whitworth called him out by name and invited him to the stage.
Andrew Whitworth hosted the LA Rams Night for Wishes to raise money for Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties.
"Gilbert, we caught word that you have a wish and the Rams want to make it come true," said Whitworth with his arm around Cabrera. "On October 28th, when we play the Green Bay Packers, you're going to come see us play, you'll have pregame sideline passes, and you're going to meet Todd Gurley!"
Bursting with excitement was Cabrera, who buried his face in his palms before looking up at the applauding crowd. Just when he thought it couldn't get any better, Cabrera discovered that Whitworth and the Rams coordinated a little something extra for him…
"But you know what, I don't know if that sweetens the pot enough," said Whitworth. "We want to make tonight extra special for a very special person. Can Jared Goff please come to the stage?"
While the Pro-Bowl Quarterback approached the stage, Cabrera's excitement became contagious throughout the room.
"First and foremost, let's give Gilbert a round of applause everybody," said Goff to the crowd of attendees. "Now, Gilbert, I know we've already given you a few tickets to one of our games, but we want to give you two more tickets to what should be another one of our games, this year's Super Bowl!"
Whitworth was equally as excited to deliver the surprise as the young teen was to receive it. Through the lens of Whitworth, making a positive impact in someone's life has a reciprocating effect on his own and often inspires others to act for the betterment of their community members.
"I hope you all understand that there's a lot of people out there that need us to do more than just worry about ourselves," said Whitworth. "That's why the culture of the Los Angeles Rams and the one that Sean McVay has instilled is so important because it goes with life. The mentality in our locker room and written on our walls is 'We Not Me', meaning it's all about our success as a team rather than our individual accomplishments and I hope all of us can recognize how important that really is."
For more information about the Rams community outreach efforts, please visit therams.com/community.