LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) The sounds, faces and drills going on inside the Trager Center, the practice facility for the University of Louisville football team, seemed like business as usual Saturday. That is, except for the slightly smaller, happier sounds coming from some very special, young faces.
The second annual Courage Camp organized by the Petrino Family Foundation and Kosair Children's Hospital offered children battling cancer a chance to put that stress on the back-burner for a day, and just be a kid, while playing football with some slightly bigger kids.
"Seeing them more excited about making the kids happy is what it's all about," said Jason Seraphine, who had two sons participating in the camp.
For the players, seeing the joy in the kids' eyes made the day worth it.
"It's just exciting seeing their smiles. You know, just make their day," said senior offensive lineman Tobijah Hughley.
Event organizers say the players were probably having as much fun, if not more, than the kids.
"All these football players you see here, this is not required for them to be here. They are all here because they want to be here," said Kelsey Petrino-Scott of the Petrino Family Foundation.
Paul Wilkerson has attended both years of the camp. His cancer is currently in remission and he says the camp gives him a chance to play the sport he loves so much.
"Mainly because I love football, and how fun it was, because I can't play football anymore. For right now at least," Wilkerson said.
As for the players, they had a blast, and learned a few life lessons as well.
"Don't take anything for granted," senior tight end Cole Hikutini said. "I mean, they're out here. Some kids just had surgery, they couldn't run the other day, so they come out here just to have fun. Being out here for the experience, it's humbling."
"I'm learning just to never complain," Hughley said. "There's always somebody that's going through something way worse than your situation, so you just gotta keep going no matter what."