Nate Solder was a great left tackle for the Patriots, but he was so much more than that to this fan base. He was a consistent player, who played pretty well in some huge games. What most people will remember, however, is the impact he had on the community.
Solder has been through more than most, and has struggled with things that you don’t want to see anyone struggle with. He battled testicular cancer in 2014, and missed exactly zero snaps because of it. Then, in 2015, his 3-month-old son, Hudson, was diagnosed with cancer. The Solder family’s battle with cancer has been on the mind of most Patriots fans for years, and it’s impossible not to pull for them. They have been through so much, and yet, they have continued to give back, and instead of getting caught in their own fight, attempted to fight for other families to not go through the same thing as them.
He and his family have spent countless hours at the Dana Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center and even surprised the Director of Patient and Family Programs, Lisa Scherber, with tickets to the Super Bowl during the playoffs last season. The Solder family knows all too well the impact that she has on the families that walk into that building, and seeing her reaction, combined with his family’s reaction to her was enough to bring even the toughest person to tears. These people make their life’s work helping people in their worst moments, and they do so without asking or looking for any credit.
So, as Nate and his family prepare to leave Patriots Nation and head down I-95 to the Giants facility, Patriots fans everywhere should be lining the street to say thanks. Not just for being Brady’s blind side protection since 2012, but also for showing everyone how you can react kindly and help others, no matter the situation in which you find yourself. People often talk about the toughness of football players, but Nate has shown true toughness since the day he arrived, and I, for one, will miss him greatly.
Please consider donating to the Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital Cancer Center or the Jimmy Fund it is a small gesture that can go a long way. My family donates one preseason game worth of tickets every year, and, for as small of a thing that it is, I feel good knowing that someone who is dealing with something tragic can have fun one night and not worry about anything else. For donating information go here: http://www.danafarberbostonchildrens.org/ or here: http://www.jimmyfund.org/ways-to-give/ anything you can give; time, money, or anything else can help immensely.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
You can interact with him on Twitter @wkndwarpod