In our Facebook group, The Die Hard Patriots Nation, not only do we enforce strict codes of love and loyalty to the team, but we aim to build a community of togetherness and support each other when we can. We’ve supported various causes from Autism Speaks to cancer awareness, to veteran support and many more.
In that, meet Norah! She’s a 4yr old with Russell Silver Syndrome, which is a rare genetic disease that causes stunted growth, who is absolutely in love with Gronk! Her mom, Lacey, one of our members and a dear friend of mine, told me she’d be taking her kids to the Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium this past Monday, so I posted to my Instagram and Twitter, encouraging Gronk to take a few moments of his time to make Norah’s dreams come true, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. And, to make matters worse, she lost her plush Gronk doll that was her security net in her hardships and medical battles, that gave her strength when she really needed it. In Norah’s own words, “Gwonk is so stwong and big” and it’s his strength that gives her, hers.
Though, Mike Reiss posted on Twitter, a picture of Norah’s sign “Gronk, will you marry me? My mom says in 20 years!” praising their creativity, and giving them something to remember from that day!
So we sent out a Missing Poster hoping that someone out there would find her missing doll and no luck; even tried calling lost and found at Gillette and nothing came through. But we didn’t lose hope there, instead we kept pushing it out there on social media, using all of our connections, and I even emailed the Kraft Group sharing Norah’s story with Mr. Kraft, and encouraged the organization to set up a personal meeting with Gronk, and if at all possible to personally deliver a new Gronk doll to Norah. Even had Mike Reiss from ESPN helping us out! (See? They’re not ALL bad!)
As they say, “When one door closes, another one opens” and that’s just what happened! The Patriots reached out to Lacey and invited them back to practice camp, on Tom Brady’s birthday, as VIP guests! Though they informed us that the particular Gronk doll that Norah lost is no longer in production, but they went out of their way and had the doll delivered from elsewhere at 10:30 (ET) this morning right before practice, just in time to find it’s way back home!
So, after all was said and done, as Gronk walked down the field, you could hear Norah screaming out his name, “Gwonkowski! Gwonkowski!” After what felt like a lifetime, but was only about a minute, Gronk made his way over to her and called out, “Hey Norah!” and walked right up to her! Norah was in complete shock! She couldn’t believe that her super hero was standing right in front of her! And, then he announces he has a present for her and he pulls a plush Gronk doll out of his helmet, handing it to her! The same one she had lost!
Thank you to Robert Kraft, to Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots Organization for making this happen and making a little girl’s dreams come true!!! It’s time like these that make me love my team even more. And, I’m proud to announce that Norah is now officially the Die Hard Patriots Nation’s mascot! #GoNorahGo