Bell is the mother of Faith Falzone, the girl whose family Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford gave a surprise $15,000 gift over the weekend at a fundraiser for Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Bell's blog, "My Faith's Journey," describes her heart-wrenching feelings as Faith undergoes medical treatment that included surgery on Monday.
I wanted to bring you some excerpts of her entry on Stafford's gift Saturday evening, especially because it appears not only to have impacted Faith, but also her brother Will. It'll remind you how to decide what's important and what isn't.
[I]n my eyes, stars are made from the inside out, and rest assured Lions fans your quarterback is as much of a star inside as he is on the outside.
At the beginning of the evening a very beautiful young woman sat down at our table, she introduced herself as Kelly. Faith was immediately in love. After the athletes in attendance were introduced Matt Stafford came and sat next to her at the table. Immediately, Will's entire disposition changed. Suddenly, there was life in my son's eyes, and a smile, a really excited happy smile that I had not seen for months.
Right away Matt could tell that my son was a fan, he stuck his hand out and introduced himself. The next hour or so Will asked all kinds of questions, who do you like to throw the ball to the most, did you ever play other sports, at one point they were talking about candy. Matt's girlfriend had Faith just as engaged, they talked about nails, and dresses, she was delightful. Beautiful inside and out.
Part of the Gala included a live auction where there were big ticket items raffled to the highest bidder. I noticed my son pointing out a package that included a trip to Chicago with tickets to a Monday Night football Game to see the Lions and the Bears, a package donated by Mike Tirico. Dhani Jones was the auctioneer and asked Stafford to beef the package up by adding some tickets to the game. He agreed and the bidding began. Will was excited to see who won the package and watched intently to see who was going to see his Lions play in Chicago, suddenly, the Lions own quarterback began bidding on the package, Dhani teased about being able to watch and play at the same time, saying I know you were good last year, but man that is talent. I assumed he was driving the price of the package up, all the money goes to Mott, I thought it was incredibly cool of him. As the bidding continued he wasn't backing off … he was in it, he wanted to win that package, and had I known why, I’m certain, I would have been in tears. Somewhere in the $15k range Matt Stafford was the owner of the MNF package, the crowd laughed, but moments later, that same crowd would be giving the Mott newcomer a standing ovation. As he won the package he turned to Will and said, there you go buddy, you go to Chicago, and take your family. The look on my son's face, I will never forget. His chin began to quiver, he was about to cry. He quickly jumped up and gave Matt a hug, and thanked him over and over again. …
Quarterbacks are probably the most influential player among all team sports in the success or failure of the team. I think they have to see it all … Detroit Fans, your Quarterback, he sees it. He was able to give Will a night he will never forget. He was able to heal some of the hurt, and give Will something to look forward to …
You can follow Bell on Twitter at @maizeyblue, where she is providing updates on Faith's surgery Monday.