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Patriots Players Visit UMass Children’s Center

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Patriot receivers Matt Slater (left) and Julian Edelman (right) with 12-year old Julia Dunphy.

Two New England Patriot receivers were in Worcester yesterday, bringing smiles to children at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center.

Receivers Julian Edelman and Matt Slater took the time to hang out with children suffering from a variety of different ailments. The two players discussed football and the challenges of playing under coach Bill Belichick with one patient.

“Oh, he’s definitely no-nonsense,” Edelman said with a smile when asked if Belichick was strict. “But he’s a great teacher.”

The two receivers entered the room of 12-year old Julia Dunphy to see the signs she and her parents had made for the players. Before the two entered the room, she expressed excitement to meet players from her favorite team.

“I think it’s going to be really cool, because I’ve never met anyone like this before,” Julia said. “It means a lot, and I just can’t wait.”

When the two entered the room, the first thing they noticed was a sign made for Slater, but none for Edelman. The team had only told them Slater was coming, and the Dunphy family ran into some technical difficulties.

“We ran out of markers,” Julia said with a chuckle.

“That’s me!” Slater said as he walked in the room. “Very cool. Thank you so much Julia."

The two receivers autographed mini-footballs for everyone they saw.

Edelman was less than offended that there was no sign for him, and found some common ground with Julia.

“So, I have to ask, is Bieber you’re favorite?” Edelman asked.

Julia responded that he was, and that she was using her Make-A-Wish to meet him.

“Don’t lie Julian, you want to meet him too,” Slater said.

“I just want to go to his concert,” Edelman responded.

Julia, who has leukemia, has been at UMass since Sunday. Her family hopes she can leave in the next couple of days.

Edelman and Slater were at the Children’s Center as a part of the Patriots’ “Celebrate Volunteerism” campaign, which promotes giving your time for a good cause. For more information, click here.


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