Portsmouth police, officer's son get surprise visit from 'Gronk' at hospitalBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent February 14. 2018 11:50PM
PORTSMOUTH — Members of the Portsmouth Police Department posed for a picture with New England Patriots superstar Rob Gronkowski as he visited Maine Medical Center in Portland on Tuesday.
Sgt. David Keaveny’s 2-year-old son, Brooks, is fighting a rare form of pediatric cancer called neuroblastoma and is being treated at the hospital. Gronkowski was there to present a $25,000 check to The Barbara Bush Hospital at Maine Medical Center.
Keaveny, Lt. Darrin Sargent and Lt. Mike Maloney were surprised to see the tight end. They took a photo with Gronkowski and the department posted it on Facebook Wednesday morning.
Maloney said the hospital kept quiet about who was coming in, and said only that there was a special visitor. They were all surprised when Gronkowski walked into Brooks' room in the pediatric intensive care unit.
“Dave is a big sports fan. It was neat to have Gronk go into the room and take pictures with Dave and his wife and Brooks,” Maloney said.
Maloney said Gronkowski was gracious and freely signed his autograph for anyone who asked.
Gronkowski’s father, Gordon, was there at the hospital, as well as his two brothers, Dan and Gordie.
“We have a great financial amount to share with the hospital,” Gronkowski said in a statement. “We have to give all around New England.”
According to hospital spokesman Caroline Cornish, Maine Medical Center was one of three facilities where donations were made. Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island and Boston Children’s Hospital also received money.
The money was raised through two raffles by Gronk Nation. One was for tickets to the AFC Championship and the other was for tickets to the Super Bowl, Cornish said.
Last week, members of the Portsmouth Police Department set up a gofundme.com page to raise money for Brooks and the Keaveny family.
So far, $55,819 has been raised.
“Brooks and the rest of the Keaveny family are on our minds every single day and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them,” police posted on Facebook Wednesday. “The family of blue here at the PD is strong, Brooks Strong!”
According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 800 new cases of neuroblastoma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Tumors generally develop in the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys, but the cancer can spread to the chest, spine, spinal cord regions and abdomen.