Bears' Thomas surprises biggest fan

Bears' Thomas surprises biggest fan
February 5, 2012, 10:04 am
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We live in a day and age where all you hear about are stories surrounding professional athletes getting arrested, not getting paid adequately and stirring up controversy on social media platforms and it's stories like what Bears rookie linebacker J.T. Thomas did for a child suffering from epilepsy that go unnoticed.

Anthony Grandberry, a 14-year-old boy who suffers from epilepsy - a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures over a period of time - met Thomas last year at an autograph signing.

"I'll never forget how he made me feel, a player on IR who hadn't played a practice or down for the Chicago Bears, for him to want my autograph and to make me feel like a Pro Bowler that day, I've always wanted to return that feeling to Anthony. More than anything, be able to help him the best way I can," Thomas said.

After Grandberry underwent brain surgery to help stop the seizures, Thomas visited him in the hospital over the holidays. The two have stayed in touch and Thomas surprised Grandberry with Super Bowl tickets at a Chicago southside church on Saturday morning.

"I came to see my buddy Anthony today. Me and the rest of my volunteers, we drove all the way from Florida just to take my No. 1 fan to the Super Bowl this year," Thomas said.

Thomas knows firsthand how important it is to help children with special needs, having a younger brother who suffers from autism.

"I have a younger brother with autism. I know how important it is for special needs children to have the support that they feel like a normal child and to be able to do the things that everybody else does."

Thomas and Anthony will make the drive from Chicago to Indianapolis to see the Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium together.

What's the first thing that Anthony plans to do when he arrives in Indianapolis?

"Just watch the game."

Helping Anthony isn't the only charitable work Thomas has done in the offseason, him and six volunteers have been making visits to epilepsy centers on their drive from Florida to Chicago for the J.T. Thomas Foundation.