Beasley Makes A Special Visit To Amplatz Children's Hospital
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Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley’s face lights up when he talks about his cousin, who lost his battle with cancer at age 14 in 2005. He remembers his passion for life, his will to beat the disease and his upbeat attitude that rubbed off on everyone around him during his fight.
“He just smiled and lived to his last breath,” Beasley said. “He was a fun-loving, goofy kid. If you think I’m goofy, you should have met him.”
Seven years later, Beasley remembers how important that positive attitude was for his family and his cousin. On Thursday, Beasley brought smiles, laughs and excitement to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital—visiting rooms, playing games and bringing laughs to patients, parents and staff.
It’s something that hits home with Beasley, and he said he’s honored to be able to help families with ill children get through difficult moments in their lives.
“I’m far more touched than they are,” Beasley said. “It really touches home for me. As much as I can give back, as much as I can do is a blessing.”
His impact was felt instantly. As he walked into Amplatz for the hospital’s “Super Hero Day,” which honors the staff and families who show strength each day, workers gave Beasley a red cape to wear during his visit.
He spent time going to patients’ rooms to visit on a personal level. It’s where he met Jacob, who was thrilled to meet Beasley and let him shoot his Nerf gun. He also visited Tyler, who taught Beasley how to play Yahtzee during his visit to her room.
His visits left an impact that will last far longer than his time spent in the room.
“After Michael visited I saw one of the kids’ moms, and she said he’s still talking about it,” Child-Family Life Specialist Ashley Wunderlich said. “He was excited because he got to leave his room today, but now all he cares about is that he got a visit from Michael. It’s really cool.”
Beasley took time to meet families in the lobby and played video games with some of the children before he left, signing autographs for everyone along the way.
But it wasn’t just the children who got a boost from Beasley’s visit. Apple Valley resident Chad Dugan, whose 1-year-old daughter is at Amplatz, meeting Beasley was a highlight of his afternoon.
Dugan, a big Timberwolves fan, said he noticed Beasley right away and was impressed he took the time out of his busy schedule to make the hospital visit.
“It means the world to me, and I think it means a lot to the children, also,” Dugan said. “These are big people in the community, and for someone to take their time out shows they care and it really shows a lot about the Timberwolves organization as a whole.”
Beasley said he learned a lot from his cousin, and the kids he met on Thursday all had the same big smiles and the positive attitude he remembers.
He said it doesn’t matter if they know who he is or not. If he can help bring that cheer, that’s all that matters.
“I don’t know if it’s excitement or if they’ve never seen someone my height before,” Beasley said. “But just to put a smile on their face is good enough for me.”
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