The George Washington University Hospital partnered with Washington, DC football wide receiver Jahan Dotson to give patients at the GW Cancer Center and the GW Transplant Institute memorable, encouraging experiences with this season’s star rookie player.
Dotson spent time with a number of patients undergoing comprehensive cancer treatment at the GW Cancer Center, signing footballs, taking photos, and lifting the hearts and minds of patients, their families, and staff, as smiles and laughter filled the rooms and hallways. Patients James Allen and Charles Odom were especially cheered by Dotson dropping by their hospital rooms. Allen said Dotson “looked like his nephew and is a really nice young man.” Odom also noted what “a nice young man” Dotson is and “appreciated the time” with him.
The nurse manager of the oncology unit, Mariam Al Sabae, shared that the visit “was something the patients and their families were looking forward to. One patient had been preparing for Dotson’s visit and even made sure her hair was done nicely for a photo. There was nothing but smiles and a few grateful tears from our patients, many of whom have been with us battling cancer for some time now.”
Dotson also met with two transplant donor and recipient pairs at the GW Transplant Institute. The first pair, Paul Smith, a former professional football player, and Jafau Delane met one another while coaching competitive youth football in Maryland. Delane heard that Smith needed a kidney transplant and he insisted on being tested as a donor. After he was found to be a match, the transplant took place in the fall of 2021.
Both Smith and Delane have returned to their everyday lives, remaining close friends. They were looking forward to meeting Dotson, as he was teammates last year with Zakee Wheatley, whom they know very well and is a close family friend of both men.
The other donor and recipient pair Dotson met were Peter Ford and Michael Foster, who were both in law enforcement, and were also meeting one another for the first time. Ford, who was the donor for the transplant procedure, is a 32-year veteran of the Diplomatic Security Service and has served as the Regional Security Officer at the U.S. embassies in Venezuela, Armenia, Switzerland and Mauritania. He is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, and his last assignment was as commander of the Joint 157th Reserve Unit on Capitol Hill.
When Ford contacted GW Hospital about donating his kidney, he specified the recipient must be in law enforcement. Foster, the recipient, served 26 years in the Prince George’s County Police Department and was also on security detail for the Teamsters for the last three years.
Moments like these have a positive impact on our patients and are one of the many ways GW Hospital uplifts patients while they are in our care. As one staff member shared, “You don’t often hear laughter like this on the oncology floor.”