Jim Johnson, George Ross, Lamar Jackson, Pat LaFontaine and Diane Rode

The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson of the University of Lousiville took time from his busy first weekend in New York to visit patients at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai. The youngest Heisman winner in history “gowned up” and conducted some bedside visits, and then headed to the Lion’s Den Room for a Google Hangout with patients in other Lion’s Dens across North America. 

Jackson was an inspiration for many parents and their families. He had everyone laughing when the Florida native said he decided to go to the University of Louisville because he “wanted to see snow.” When another patient asked if Jackson would like to play for his hometown Denver Broncos, he added, “we have lots of snow here!”

The 19-year-old talked to the patients about his favorite NFL team (Cowboys), why he wears the number 8 (Troy Aikman), and the most important person in his life (his mom). He said his favorite cereal was Cinnamon Toast Crunch (with Fruity Pebbles a close second!) Jackson’s visit allowed patients a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask the Heisman winner any question they wanted, and for a few brief moments, escape the world of their necessary, but mundane hospital day.  

Diane Rode, Director of Child Life at the hospital said, “The Heisman hospital visit has become a treasured tradition which always brings abundant happiness to our pediatric patients and their families. Thanks to the Heisman Trust and Lamar for spreading a spirit of optimism and joyfulness within the hospital this holiday season.”

Pat LaFontaine was really impressed by the newest Heisman winner. “Lamar has already learned the power of using his celebrity to help others. This young man was raised well and I wish him nothing but success in his career and in life.” LaFontaine was joined at the hospital by CiC Executive Board member George Ross.

The founder of CiC Foundation attended the Heisman Trust dinner that same night and wished the college sophomore well as he prepared for a New Year’s Eve meeting in the Citrus Bowl against LSU.