Carson Wentz was dazzling spectators with his big arm on the first day of Eagles training camp on Thursday. On Friday, Wentz got a chance to show off just how big his heart is too.
Wentz met 11-year-old Giovanni Hamilton who has an incredibly rare disease known as Schwartz Jampel Syndrome. It’s a disease characterized by abnormalities of skeletal muscle, bone and cartilage that affects less than 100 people in the world.
Giovanni’s chance to meet Wentz on the sidelines at the NovaCare Complex was an emotional one. The young boy who is in a wheelchair reached out for and received a big hug from Carson.
“You’re my hero,” Giovanni told Wentz.
We spoke with Giovanni’s mother, Shannon Algarin, about how important Wentz has been to Giovanni’s battles through 12 different surgeries ranging from his eyes, ankles and hips, to his most recent surgery to distract (break and lengthen) his jaw because it wasn’t growing on its own.
“Carson was the inspiration,” Shannon told NBC Sports Philadelphia. “He said, ‘Mom, if Carson can come back from his knee and back injuries, I can do this.’
“That’s why this moment meant everything to Giovanni.”
When the family was planning to come to camp today, they didn’t know Giovanni would get the chance to meet his hero, but they certainly hoped it would happen.
“Just to see Carson standing down the line and know he was coming, it just built up all of the emotions,” Shannon said.
We were also lucky enough to ask Giovanni about what it was like to meet his hero today.
“It meant everything. It was amazing,” Giovanni said. “It meant a lot to me. [Wentz] is so strong and that inspired me to be strong.”
To those who say “never meet your hero,” I say fooey. Meet Carson Wentz and meet Giovanni Hamilton.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.