As the Houston Texans gear up for training camp, the future of quarterback Matt Schaub seems heavy on everyone's minds: Schaub is entering the last year of his contract after a Lisfranc injury sidelined him for the season after 10 games (and a 7-3 start) in 2011.
At a press conference at Texas Children's Hosptial West Campus on Monday afternoon, the media interrogated Schaub about his foot — "The foot is doing great," he answered. "We'll touch on that as we get going here next week at camp, but everything feels good and ready to go." — and about the upcoming camp — "I'm so excited," he laughed. "I've been counting down since about 100 days to go."
But Schaub and his wife, Laurie, kept gently turning the conversation to the task at hand: They were there for the kids.
The quarterback has received encouraging words and personal drawings from pint-sized patients during his own convalescence.
The Schaub family gifted a $200,000 check from his Gr8 Hope Foundation to the Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, raised through sponsorships, private donations, plus an annual gala and golf classic.
Like an additional $108,000 that the couple raised last year, the funds will be put toward the hospital's Child Life Department.
"Our child life specialists are specifically trained to help children acclimate to the health care environment," Michelle Riley-Brown, senior vice president of the hospital branch, explained to CultureMap.
"They help with procedural preparations, coping mechanisms for new diagnoses and they really help, not only the patient, but the whole family deal with their health care experience."
The Schaubs, on their part, have received attention from the hospital's West Campus: All three of their own young children have been aided by the physicians and medics there, and the quarterback has received encouraging words and personal drawings from pint-sized patients during his convalescence.
"I think when you go around the hospital and you see the kids' faces and you visit with them, as Laurie and I do on many occasions, and you see the . . . positive outlook — they uplift our spirits more than, I think, we do for them," Matt Schaub said.