On April 11, Philadelphia Eagle Zach Ertz surprised third-grader J.D. Sobota and his classmates with a visit to their classroom! J.D. has been bravely undergoing intense radiation treatment to treat his arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which occurs when there is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain. During his treatment in February, Ertz responded to a Tweet of J.D. in his special treatment mask decorated like his favorite Eagle’s football helmet, telling J.D. to “Stay strong!”


St. Norbert School came together in the meantime with steady support through prayers and generosity, raising $7,600 by dedicating the annual Nickel Race to the Sobota family. The school was then thrilled to find out that Ertz would be happy to stop by and meet J.D. in person!


Ertz took his time talking with J.D. and his friends, signing autographs, and even giving each child a pair of sunglasses. The entire school lined the hallway as he left the building, high-fiving everyone along the way.


The entire St. Norbert community continues to pray and offer support to J.D. and his family. His courage and smiling face have been an inspiration to us all.