The New England Patriots, with team owner Robert Kraft, recently hosted a Day of Pampering at Gillette Stadium, designed to honor women going through cancer treatments with a day of fun away from doctors and medical procedures. The event, which was dedicated to the memory of Kraft’s wife, Myra, took place October 3rd at Gillette Stadium.
Women who are receiving treatment at Mass General Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and surrounding areas were invited to participate in the event, which included group yoga, massages, manicures and craft events like candlemaking and jewelry making. Several Patriots players surprised the women with gift baskets and their own personalized, custom jerseys. Those players participating included Marcus Jones, David Andrews, Deatrich Wise Jr and Tre Nixon. The attendees were given an opportunity to wear their new jerseys by attending the Crucial Catch game on October 24, where New England will host the Chicago Bears for Monday Night Football.
A day away from the hospital
One of the 16 attendees was Shelley Wilton. She said of her experience, “I got here and I can’t believe all that they’ve done,” Shelley said. “What I said to Mr. Kraft was that this makes me more proud to be a Patriots fan, because they’re not just a team. They’re not just a great football team, but they’re basically humanitarians in what they do for the community. They care about people, and I kind of always felt like that just being a fan.”
Another attendee, Karla McCarren, said, “When you start to go through these situations you feel very isolated and alone. This is an amazing day for all of us. I never in my life would have met these women but now I feel like it’s just this new group of friends that I’ll have moving forward.”
Cancer is personal to Kraft. His wife, Myra, died of the disease in 2011. Said Kraft, “This is one of the most special days to me personally because I lost the dearest person in my life to this insidious disease over 11 years ago.” He told the Pampering Day participants, “I know what you’re going through. I remember the chemo, the radiation, the pain.”
The 2022 Day of Pampering is part of the NFL’s Crucial Catch mission, which also includes on-field and in-stadium events to honor cancer survivors and bring awareness to cancer early detection and risk reduction.
About Robert Kraft
Robert Kraft is the founder, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, a private business group that does business in 90 countries. His portfolio includes more than 100 private equity and venture investments. These include the New England Patriots, the New England Revolution MLS team, Gillette Stadium and a number of real estate, financial services and manufacturing companies. Kraft is also the chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots.
Kraft earned degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Business School. Prior to launching the Kraft Group, Kraft worked in the paper and packaging industry with the Rand-Whitney Group. He later acquired that business and turned it into the seventh-largest exporter in North America.
Kraft serves on several NFL owner committees. In addition, he sits on the board of directors for the Apollo Theater and The Engine, a venture firm founded by MIT. Kraft is also a trustee emeritus of Columbia University and a trustee of Boston College.
A native of Brookline, he still makes his home in the greater Boston area. Kraft is a widower with four grown sons, two of whom work for Kraft businesses. Over the years, Kraft and his family have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charities located in the Boston area and beyond via the Kraft Family Foundation. Kraft was awarded the 2019 Genesis Prize by “Time” magazine for his philanthropy.