Buffalo Bills fans helped to lift up Josh Allen during a difficult period last year, and now the quarterback is offering an emotional message of thanks for the amazing tribute they created.
Allen’s grandmother passed away in November 2020, with the quarterback learning about her death the night before the Bills were set to host the Seattle Seahawks. Bills coach Sean McDermott said he gave Allen the option to skip the game to be with his family, but Allen decided to play and led Buffalo to a win. Afterward, fans showed their appreciation for Allen by making donations to the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, a Buffalo institution that Allen had partnered with in the past.
This week, Allen got to see the result of those donations and shared a message with the Bills fans who made it happen.
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Allen Shows Thanks
As WIVB in Buffalo reported, the donations from Bills fans — most in the amount of $17 to honor Allen’s jersey number — ended up raising $1.4 million for the special fund named for the quarterback’s grandmother, the Patricia Allen Fund. This week, the hospital unveiled the Patricia Allen Pediatric Recovery Wing, which was funded through those donations.
Allen had a chance to speak with the hospital staff, sharing his gratitude both for them and for the fans who helped fund the new wing.
“It’s such a surreal moment,” Allen said as he toured the facility, via WIVB. “I just want to give a round of applause to each and every single one of you that works here. I’m so grateful to have this honor and have my grandmother memorialized like this. I’m so indebted to this great community and this City of Buffalo.”
This is not the first time that Allen has shared his appreciation with fans. Last year, as the donations continued to roll in and the total continued ticking upward, Allen said it made him want to be a Buffalo Bill for life.
“My family is forever engraved here, myself included. I don’t ever want to leave,” Allen said, via ESPN. “I want to play for as long as I can and give back to this community and Bills Mafia.”
Allen Supports Others During Tough Times
Earlier this year, it was Allen who had the chance to support another through their time of need. Just before the team’s game against Washington, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll lost his grandmother, the woman who had raised him. The Bills went on to win the game in a blowout, and afterward Allen said the win was a tribute to Daboll.
Allen recalled how Daboll and others had lifted him up after his grandmother’s passing last year, and he wanted to show the same support to the offensive coordinator.
“When you see a guy hurting, guys rally around that and they want to try to help ease that pain and that tension,” Allen said, via The Associated Press.
“There’s nothing you can say to help him or his family feel better. And I think throughout and over time it feels better. But to have that type of support here and to share that pain with it takes a lot off of it.”