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The Kansas City Star: All those wristbands Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes wears? They support some good causes

By Sam McDowell

Sophia Linenberger had heard rumors about an upcoming Mahomes visit to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

For nearly a year, she had made trips to the hospital, back and forth from her home in Hays, Kansas, for weeklong stints of chemotherapy, radiation and treatment.

Sophia, 16, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in January. Only about 200 kids each year are diagnosed with the form of cancer. Sophia endured two surgeries to her spine. On many weeks, the chemotherapy would stretch five consecutive days, zapping any strength in her body.

The Mahomes visit served as a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. But a day before he arrived at Children’s Mercy, Sophia traveled home for a break.

“I missed him by one day,” she said.

Weeks later, when she learned Mahomes’ foundation, 15 and the Mahomies, would be hosting a gala in Kansas City, she landed a ticket. The foundation selected 15 charities to present with a $15,000 check each during the dinner last month, and Sophia represented Children’s Mercy Hospital.

“I was just excited to be in the same room with him,” she said.

Late in the evening, Mahomes walked around the room, stopping at every table. Sophia took her chance. She always carries the bracelets her school made for her — Sophia Strong — for these moments. As Mahomes approached her table, she asked for a picture and then handed him the bright yellow band.

Mahomes made a promise to wear it. And sure enough, during Sunday’s win against the Raiders, he had added it to the collection.

“Oh, my gosh, I was so excited when I first saw it,” Sophia said. “My friends were all watching because I told them about it. It was such an honor.”

“My daughter is my biggest inspiration,” said Jenny Linenberger, Sophia’s mom, “But Mr. Mahomes is definitely an inspiration, too.”

These are their stories, all of them wound around the wrists of the NFL Most Valuable Player.

“When I hear their stories and they make an impact in my life, I wear these as a daily reminder that I can go out there and put my best effort forward,” Mahomes said. “And still know that there’s bigger things other than football.”


Read the full story via The Kansas City Star

Learn more about Ways to Give at Children's Mercy