ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Chiefs fans focused on Patrick Mahome’s knee when he limped off the field against the Denver Broncos.
Ten year-old Whitney Wells, her family and her friends were probably the only people who noticed his wrist.
The two met at Chiefs Training Camp in St. Joseph this summer. Whitney gave Mahomes and Travis Kelce special bracelets with her name and her mantra “You Got This.”
Mahomes has worn the wristband in every game this season.
Doctors diagnosed Whitney with a rare brain tumor called D.I.P.G. in May. Whitney and her family spent most of their summer at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis.
They returned to St. Joseph just in time for the Chiefs to arrive for training camp. The Chiefs heard about Whitney’s diagnosis and invited the family to spend a day with the team.
“It’s been awesome with all the support and the compassion from everybody,” Scott Wells, Whitney’s father, said at training camp in August. “Players coming to sign autographs and say, ‘Hi,’ and take pictures. It’s very humbling.”
The family also spent time with Head Coach Andy Reid and players Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins.
“Clearly, that illustrates those gentlemen have huge hearts,” Tara Wells, Whitney’s mother, said. “They certainly today expressed themselves being behind Whitney as we continue this journey.”
Whitney’s mom said it’s been a tough time for the ten-year-old. Since Whitney was diagnosed in May, she has lost the ability to run and play like she used to with other kids. She no longer writes with her right hand. Whitney’s mom said that many other things they took for granted before they learned of the tumor are also gone.
But Whitney, along with her family and friends, continue to fight.
“We just want her to feel like a normal kid,” Tara Wells said. “Continue to do the things that she loves and to find new interests and new loves as we continue this difficult journey.”
The fight for Whitney continued during the NFL’s Crucial Catch game at Arrowhead against the Texans. The NFL uses the game to promote the importance of early cancer screenings. The Wells’ friends, and even a Chiefs Cheerleader, used the opportunity to raise awareness about Whitney’s fight.
While Whitney hasn’t heard from the Chiefs quarterback since that day in St. Joseph, Whitney’s mom said the meeting still means the world to her daughter.
“Mahomes wearing her bracelet has made her feel very special, especially on tough days,” Tara said. “He’s given her happiness. He’s given her the feeling that she really is a special girl, and he gives her hope.”
You can follow Whitney’s journey on a Facebook page called “Fight for Whitney.”