On Friday afternoon, kids at the Nemours Alfred I. duPont Children's Hospital received a visit from Philadelphia Phillies third baseman, Kevin Frandsen.
Frandsen signed autographs, took pictures and participated in a press conference run by the kids at the A.I. duPont Children's Hospital. The visit surely brightened the day of many kids and offered a welcome distraction for them and their families.
While some children attended in person, the press conference was broadcasted on closed-circuit television along with a special phone extension so others could call in their questions.
Even though Frandsen is a professional baseball player, the kids were not intimidated and weren't afraid to ask the tough questions of the second-year Phillie. Frandsen was asked a flurry of questions, from his favorite food to his favorite color, to whether or not he's seen "The Hobbit" yet. After admitting he hadn't seen "The Hobbit" or any of the "Lord of the Rings" movies a large gasp filled the room.
"Wow," Frandsen said of the reaction with a laugh. "I guess I'll have to see that soon!"
It's sometimes easy to forget that professional athletes are people like you and I and they go through the same pressures and unfortunate tragedies in life. Frandsen is no different.
Back in 2004, just months after being drafted by the San Francisco Giants, Frandsen's older brother D.J. lost a 19-year battle with Nephroblastoma or Wilms' tumor. So, Frandsen is no stranger to what some of the children at A.I. duPont Children's Hospital are going through and how much it means to have an athlete, musician or actor come to visit.
"I get a charge out of it," said Frandsen. "It's something I grew up being around with my brother being in the hospital all the time. I just remember seeing if an athlete or someone of relevance came out to visit him, how upbeat he got."
For about an hour on Friday a lot of children were able to forget about what ails them, and the impact of all the smiles, laughter, handshakes and hi-fives was not lost on Frandsen.
"It benefits us and everyone in here," said Frandsen. "When a child smiles or has no pain for 30 seconds, a minute or a week, if you're able to take any of that away, it's really inspiring and awesome."