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Steelers Blog

Wishes really do come true

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 18, 2012 – 10:05 am

As 13-year old Christopher Naegeli watched the Steelers morning practice at training camp, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came behind him, then knelt down beside him and started talking football.

The teenager who a few minutes earlier was joking with his mom and sister, got quiet and shy, meeting his hero for the first time.

But after a few minutes Naegeli, who has spina bifida and came to camp through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, warmed up not just to Roethlisberger but also to Coach Mike Tomlin, LaMarr Woodley, Ryan Clark, Brett Keisel, Dick LeBeau, Larry Foote and the rest of the players who came over to meet him, sign his football and joke around.

“It means a lot,” said his mother, Barbara Naegeli. “This is something he normally wouldn’t ever get to do. He likes watching football, but because of his wheelchair he will never be able to play. It’s great for him to get up close with the players.”

And it was easy to see the players, including Roethlisberger whose foundation helps the Make-A-Wish Foundation, loved it as well.

“I think it’s awesome the players like to do it and love spending time with the kids,” said Naegeli.

Posted in Training Camp | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Wishes really do come true”

  1. By ted kendall on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    these pictures show greatness by great men

  2. By candie on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    What a great story.

  3. By Nan Gilbert on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    This is what makes the Steelers so special to so many people.

  4. By timmiesmith on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    thank u for sharing the pictures :D

  5. By dale r schaffner sr. on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply


  6. By Gary Ealy on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    One of the upsides to being a professional athlete has got to be the opportunity to give kids like this some pleasure and memories in their lives. And these guys seem to do this a lot. When you do these kinds of deeds and it doesn’t matter how many games you win or lose…it’s being a great person to those who don’t get the chance. Congratulations – you’re all winners!

  7. By Drew on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I love the things the NFL and the Steelers do for people. That’s what makes the the greatest game and the best organization in the NFL. I’ll tell you Chris is one happy kid today. What a great thing for all the players to do. I love the Steelers and everything they do for people.

  8. By Linda Lieb on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Thank You for sharing this story. Love those STEELER MEN & their STEELER fan, Chris. This is a great day in STEELER NATION!!

  9. By Charly on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    This is why I am a steeler for life ! What a bunch a great guys! Great story !

  10. By William Stamey on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    It is so great to see the team stand up and be there for the less fortunate.I makes me proud to be a Steeler Fan. You rock guys.

  11. By Derek P Docktor on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    This is EXACTLY what the Steelers and CLASS are all about!

    Doc out

  12. By Robert Woodfill on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve been a Steeler fan for life,as I’m origanly from Wikinsburg, but all the bad things they say about our guys,it’s good to see they reconized some of the good things they do!Love you guys, and I’m with you 16-0 or 0-16 so keep it up and I’m always a true fan!!! Steelers 4-Ever, Robert woodfill

  13. By k9henrydog on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    we know who you really are Ben……and the BOYZ !! best wishes

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