The following story was published in the Revolution’s “Match Day” program for the Oct. 16 home finale against the Kansas City Wizards
Taylor Twellman hasn’t been able to join his teammates on the field in almost two years—he was sidelined after suffering a concussion and post-concussion syndrome. But while he can’t do much for his team during matches, he more than makes up for it off the pitch.
Because of all the time he spends with Children’s Hospital Boston, Twellman is the Revolution’s 2010 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year.
Shortly after Twellman’s 2008 season-ending head and neck injury, Children’s Hospital Boston asked if he was available to visit with the kids. Countless unpublicized visits later, most without the Revolution’s involvement, and Twellman is one of the hospital’s ambassadors and recently signed on to become a founding member of the hospital’s Sports and Entertainment Council, which is a group of Boston-based and national celebrities that aims to bring further care to pediatric patients.
His own medical ordeals have opened his eyes to what some of these children have to go through, and he can relate them and their daily hospital routines, also having undergone extensive testing and treatments, as well as numerous doctor’s appointments.
In addition to the many hospital visits, Twellman also organized Taylor’s Team, which is a field trip of sorts for Children’s Hospital patients. The kids and their parents get to go to Gillette Stadium on a game day, where they receive VIP treatment. Twellman has treated more than 60 families to tickets to the game in a luxury suite, sideline passes to watch warm-ups, a “ballpark food” dinner and goodie bags filled with Twellman and Revolution swag, in addition to a personal meet and greet with each game’s “team.” He started the program as a way to get kids out of the hospital so they could take their minds off of their day-to-day issues and enjoy a soccer game with their families.
As one of Children’s Hospital’s most active ambassadors, Twellman also starred in a text- and email-based fundraising campaign for the hospital. He spent seven hours at Gillette with a 10-year-old cancer patient to film the commercial and public service announcement for Generation Cures.
With all the time Twellman spends helping others, it’s hard to forget what motivates him: the need to bring awareness to the dangers associated with concussions and post-concussion syndrome. This May, he was the keynote speaker at Children’s Hospital at Harvard University’s Seventh Annual Sports Related Conference on Concussion and Spine Injury.
Though dealing with the symptoms of a concussion is a struggle, it has given Twellman the opportunity to do so much for Children’s Hospital Boston—much more than if he were on the field. After a charity even last month with the hospital, he said, “Love those smiles I see. It has gotten me through the last three years more than you know.” It sounds like the children help Twellman as much, if not more, than he helps them.