Cameron Heyward Inks Players Tribune Letter: Protect Your Grandparents. "Make This Your Mission."
PITTSBURGH -- In a time when there can never be too many reminders to stay at home, Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward is doing his part. In a heartfelt letter with the Players Tribune, Heyward inks a memo to help those you love who should be taking COVID-19 more cautiously than you are.
"Pittsburgh grandmas. Let me tell you … they’re something else. They’re the biggest characters in the world, man," Heyward starts his letter off with.
The defensive end goes on to tell a story of the last time his grandmother left her house to run errands. Into her 80's, she headed to Target to return something when he found out his beloved grandmother was out in the world risking the contamination of COVID-19.
"Pittsburgh grandmas always got something to return, man! They live for that customer service window on a Saturday morning. They got the receipts. You know they got the receipts," he wrote.
"Pittsburgh grandmas love being out ’n’ about, right? So that’s what we’re up against right now, Pittsburgh."
He then begins to remind us what the world is facing in this desperate time. With the city of Pittsburgh joining much of the country with a stay-at-home clause, most citizens have spent the last two weeks in their homes with loved ones.
Then, he reminds us who our grandparents are and what their mindset (or at least his grandparents' mindsets) are during all this.
"And to some extent, you know what? I get it," Heyward wrote. "When you come from a tough, hard-nosed town, and your family is filled with people who have lived through pretty much everything, there’s a tendency to think you’ll always be fine, no matter what."
Heyward proceeds to put in place a motion - one to help those we care about before they begin to help themselves.
"First of all, here’s something you can do immediately. I want you to take a second and do me a quick favor. If you have grandparents, or your parents are older, pick up your phone right now and dial them up.
"Ask them how they’re doing. Check in. See if they need anything."
With a higher risk for the elderly, Heyward pushes for us - the grandchildren - to do our part. Many have grown up with the help of their grandparents, and now, it's time for us to return to the favor.
"The second thing you can do is, if you’re healthy and can make it happen, tell them that if they need anything, you’ll go get it for them yourself. Or you’ll track down someone who can," he wrote.
"Protect them. Make this your mission."
The letter proceeds to highlight that anyone can be effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Heyward, someone who's dealt with asthma his entire life, is even at risk of struggling to deal with the virus if contracted.
"I’ve had asthma since I was a little kid, and I still carry an inhaler with me everywhere I go," Heyward said. "So please, please let this sink in: This virus is capable of taking down anyone, no matter how big and strong and healthy they might appear to be."
The third thing Heyward pushes Pittsburgh to do during this is donate to the Emergency Action Fund. The Fund sends grants to nonprofits who are assisting those most impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
And finally, he leaves the city with a quick reminder - we're all in this together.
"We’re all in this together, Pittsburgh. Let’s hunker down. Let’s be patient. Let’s do this for each other.
"If I’ve ever learned anything from all those drives from the airport to downtown, it’s that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel," Heyward wrote.
For all Steelers news and updates, stay connected with AllSteelers and join the community page to get involved.