Will we still be friends?

By: Coy Thompson

As a Friendship Champion with Connecting Champions I am called upon to wear many hats during the course of a day. I meet and recruit new families, listen to and talk with parents, enjoy children and ultimately match them to some of our amazing volunteers.

As soon as I met Dan and PJ, two University of Pittsburgh baseball players, I knew the pair would be a perfect match for Bryce, an energetic 6 year old who loves baseball, laughing, and playing games. Bryce has two older brothers who are not always able to come with him on long hospital stays, and while I know no one can replace family I hoped they might be able to easily find a familiar dynamic.

The first time they meet one another they immediately hit it off. They played cards, board games, made Dubsmash videos, and laughed…A LOT!

Although their first meeting went well in my eyes, for some reason I was unsure if it made a big impression on Bryce. Those worries were quickly erased when I went to talk to with Bryce and his mom prior to the second visit. Bryce’s mom told me that THE Sidney Crosby had just been there, and the whole time while Bryce was wiping the floor with him in video games, he kept asking, “When are Dan and PJ getting here.”

Just last week, Dan and PJ came to visit Bryce at Children’s Hospital just before he was about to have a major procedure. As soon as Bryce saw them, he immediately stopped what he was doing and directed them to his favorite spot, the teen lounge on 9B, so they could play videogames together. Pretty early into the game Pj turned to Bryce and asked, “Will we still be friends after Dan and I beat you at the this game?” Bryce answered with  “Of course,” and a smile that seemed to say (this is NOT about who wins)…and I’m still going to win.

PJ and Dan did win that time, but Bryce can’t wait for the next time they get to play so he can have a rematch!

Activity Kits

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

Reach Out to Us

Or contact Friendship@ConnectingChampions.org / 412.376.3755