MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins made a surprise visit to a group of special children on Thursday.

Fifteen-year-old Sophia Treadweil is among the several pediatric cancer patients being treated at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. But for Sophia and the others who visit Alex’s Place regularly, Thursday was special.

Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins along with TD the mascot and a team cheerleader paid them a visit with goodie bags courtesy of AutoNation and some much needed cheer.

“To see players that they recognize and say ‘keep up the good work’ and tap on the back and say ‘we recognize you,’ it brightens their day. These kids don’t smile often so a smile to them means a lot,” said Dr. Warren Alberstin

Tiny footballs were tossed around, pictures were taken and the sound of laughter filled the halls.

“You come here always bring someone energy but leave with them cheering you up they bring that good energy to you. To know what they are going through and how they could have such a big smile on their face is awesome to see,” said Wilkins.

That is something Paige, one of the Dolphins cheerleaders, knows all too well.

“It reminded me when I was visiting my father in Sylvester. He was treated for colon cancer. To see people come in to bring a smile to his face lit me up and to be that part of it in somebody else’s journey.  There’s no place I’d rather be than here today,” said Paige.

It’s that smile and positive energy they bring with them that lift the spirits of these children like Sophia, whose journey is now to recovery.

“I think good thing doing that patients can feel better, not just come for transfusions or whatever they need but also feel happy when they come here,” she said..

The visit is in advance to the Dolphins’ crucial game on Oct. 13 against the Washington Redskins.

On the field at that game, the team will honor 300 cancer survivors from Sylvester and their doctors, who have received funds from the annual Dolphins Cancer Challenge.

To date the DCC has raised more than $32.5 million with 100 percent of the funds going directly to Sylvester.

Mark your calendar, Feb. 29, 2019, is the Dolphins Cancer Challenge.

Marybel Rodriguez

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