Matilde and her son, Saul Ramirez, knew they were in for a treat when they arrived at Redskins Park on Tuesday, but they were completely unaware that there was an even bigger surprise in store for them.
The Washington Redskins partnered with Easterns Automotive Group to present Matilde with a check for $10,000 in support of her efforts as a caregiver for Saul, a soldier in the United States Army who diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Redskins starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins was there to present the check after treating the Ramirez family to a tour of the facility. They also left Redskins Park with jerseys and a pair of cleats autographed by Haskins himself.
“I feel very, very special,” Matilde said. “I never dreamed I would be in this place.”
Saul was diagnosed earlier this year while he was stationed in New York. Once Matilde heard the news, she packed her things and moved from her home in California to meet Saul at Walter Reed Bethesda Military Medical Center, where he entered treatment.
Once the Redskins heard her story from their non-profit partner the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, the organization wanted to help.
The Ramirez family’s day began with an introduction to Haskins, who took them on a personal tour of the locker room -- where Saul got to see Haskins’ game cleats -- the equipment room and training room before stopping at the cafeteria for lunch.
Once everyone had gotten something to eat, Haskins took the Ramirez family to a conference room, where they were presented with signed jerseys and honorary contracts.
That’s when Haskins presented Matilde with the check. Once she realized what was happening, her eyes began to fill up with tears.
“I didn’t understand. I didn’t know it was for me,” Matilde said.
After a few photos, Matilde made sure to thank the Redskins for “this beautiful, wonderful opportunity you’ve given us today.”
“This is what makes this country such a beautiful nation that people are here to do good, and people do things for one another,” she said. “Thank you so much.”
As the Ramirez family left Redskins Park with new opportunities in hand, Matilde said it was an experience she would never forget.
“I’m just so grateful,” she said. “This will go down in history for me and my family.”
To learn more about how Easterns Automotive Group serves the community, visit www.easterns.com/community.
*The Washington Redskins would like to give special thanks to USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore for facilitating the donation and connecting Easterns Automotive Group and the Washington Redskins with our military community.