View Full Version : Polamalu is the best

02-26-2009, 07:42 PM

PITTSBURGH - Wendy Miller speaks quietly on the phone from just outside her daughter's room on the hematology and oncology floor at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, where the Osterburg family has been camped out on and off for about four months.

''Our whole world was rocked in October,'' she says.

That's when Miller and her husband, Don, learned their 10-year-old daughter, Heather, was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma after tumors were found in her second rib and tissue on her lung. The couple also has an 11-year-old daughter, Hannah.

Ewing's Sarcoma is a cancer of bone and soft tissue.

More than their unwavering faith and constant support system, the one thing that seems to help tomboy Heather through the rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, chest tubes and surgery comes in the form of a long-haired safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Troy Polamalu, who frequently visits Children's Hospital in his down time, met Heather when she was in the hospital for her second round of chemotherapy.

Wendy Miller said Polamalu refuses to talk about his football prowess. Instead, he plays "Rock Band" for hours at a time with the Chestnut Ridge fifth-grader and sends her text messages to let her know he's thinking about her.

''He could be so self-absorbed, but he's not,'' she said. ''He is all about Heather, talking about how strong she is.''

On their first meeting, the two exchanged bracelets: a Greek Orthodox yarn bracelet made up of 43 knots with 7 crosses each from him and a green rubber bracelet from Heather with her motto on it - F.R.O.G., or Fully Rely on God.

On Jan. 26, as Polamalu geared up for the Super Bowl in Florida, Heather was facing surgery. Polamalu sent her a text message a couple of days before and then again twice the day of her surgery - his Media Day in Florida.

One message read, ''I am so proud of you. You're so tough.'' Another simply said, ''I miss you.''

''It meant the world to me that I could see her smile before surgery,'' her mother said.

The day after Pittsburgh's Super Bowl victory came another message: ''How about that, Heather? I hope that makes you happy.''

Before a Super Bowl practice in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago, Polamalu called Heather ''awesome.''

''Heather is very special,'' he said. ''She, I can definitely say, is my No. 1 fan, without a doubt, since I first met her.''

Polamalu is more than a football player to the Miller family.

''When we have a down moment, it never fails that he's there for us. He is a true angel for us,'' she says.

Heather was planning an extended visit back home this week when she leaves the hospital Wednesday, but the results of recent tests mean she likely will return to the hospital Monday to begin six weeks of radiation five days a week and then 12 weeks of chemotherapy.

''There is no remission with this type of cancer,'' Wendy Miller said. ''Instead, there's what's called a five-year plan. If there's no reoccurrence in five years after visits and scans, she'll be labeled 'disease-free.' It's definitely a marathon, not a sprint.''

Mirror Staff Writer Wendy McCardle is at 946-7520.

stlrz d
02-26-2009, 07:49 PM
Total class act.

Mel Blount's G
02-26-2009, 07:50 PM
That is way cool. Something so simple and fairly effortless on Troy's part yet absolutely can rock this poor kid's world (in a good way).

I know he's not the only one but we need more egos, or lack thereof, like this in pro sports....and probably the world in general.

Thanks for the post dj

02-26-2009, 08:25 PM
That made me cry. What an awesome story.

02-26-2009, 08:47 PM
It's these type of stories that SHOULD be the headline every week in the NFL. Instead the media focuses on the small percentage of the NFL players that get arrested , create drama on their team and are just generally malcontents.

Way to be a shining example of the good side Troy.

Iron Shiek
02-26-2009, 09:08 PM
No kidding man. You don't see this kind of story in the headlines....its a shame.

Here's a :tt2 for TP!

02-26-2009, 09:11 PM
awesome...i love to see when pro athletes, especially our own guys, do the right things and make an impact

02-26-2009, 09:12 PM

02-26-2009, 09:40 PM
Yeah, wow... Damn. :Clap
Go gettem Heather. Godspeed.

02-26-2009, 09:44 PM
I bet Heather kicks Troy's but in Rock Band. :Clap

02-26-2009, 11:04 PM
Wow, I've never heard anything negative about TP. He's an absolute gentleman. God Bless Heather, and thank you Troy.


Mister Pittsburgh
02-26-2009, 11:39 PM
I wish ESPN would cover 10 stories like this for every 1 T.O. saga. They fail to realize that real NFL fans don't need the soap opera to get our attention.

02-27-2009, 10:12 AM
OK, now the rest of the story. I heard it on a Christian Rock station (Air1 - found on Air1.com) and they had the link. That station always puts up great news, even if it isn't from any religious angle. Rescues, saved lives, help for orphans in other countries, families reunited, etc.

It sucks that our society is so trained to shun faith. More of this stuff would be valued, instead of the slop you read in the headlines, or get on those Hollywood TV Magazine shows about so-and-so getting divorced for the 87th time, or who is gay.

Glad you liked it. And, we do need to hear more of this stuff. It happens a lot. I bet a lot of you all do this stuff and don't think twice about it. That's the real world.

02-27-2009, 11:33 AM
Dear Troy...


02-27-2009, 06:04 PM
Honestly these kind of acts don't want to be headlines. Why, because they are doing an act of kindness. If it ends on Sportscenter, then it becomes less of a generous feeling. Let's just say this does go on, even by some of the 'thugs' in the league. I think generosity and kindness prefer to hide, but just know that it is there.
But T.O. is a douchebag :)

02-27-2009, 07:21 PM
Troy is a great person
god bless them both :Steel :Steel :Steel :Steel :Steel :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap

02-28-2009, 04:38 PM


I was just talking to someone yesterday about what a great player and person TP really is.