During training camp in 2016, Chris Thompson decided to venture to the corner of the end zone to sign autographs for fans. He was handed a wristband by the father of a young girl named Abby. From there, a relationship was born.
Through conversation, Thompson learned that Abby had pediatric brain cancer. Wanting to show his support, he met with her a few times, and the two became close friends. Thompson also continued to wear the wristband throughout games, with Abby and her family even recognizing it on television. Through it all, Thompson never saw Abby without a smile on her face.
"To me, it's just amazing," Thompson said about her positive attitude. " I know if I had been going through something like that, I don't know if I would be reacting the same way that she would, even at this older age."
Two years later, Abby's Army is doing more to help other children experiencing the same things Abby has. Implementing a touch screen game table and a portable Xbox for patients, the foundation hopes to offer ways for children to pass the time during treatment. In addition, Abby's cancer is in remission.
On Dec. 9, Thompson will wear purple cleats to pay tribute to a friend that has left such a big impact on his life.
"Just to see the positive and see them happy. To see they were able to get their baby girl through this," Thompson said. "That just meant the world to me."