RIPON (CBS13) – In Colin Kaepernick’s case, he wears his heart on his sleeves, proudly kissing his tattoos of bible verses. But, there is another side to the rising star that not everyone knows about.
The Kaepernick family has a special place for kids with heart disease.
Colin is not just a man with a strong arm but with a big heart, helping kids who’s hearts need a little help.
“When I met him, we were making buttons, then he went swimming with us. I got his autograph on a button,” said Juan Barragan.
A Super Bowl-bound starting quarterback is splashing around with kids. It’s humbling to say the least.
“We got to throw water balloons at him,” said Hannah French.
The 49ers quarterback and his parents hold these kids close to their hearts.
“He said, ‘mom, help me find something for kids with heart defects,’ ” said Teresa Kaepernick.
Thats because an NFL deal to Colin means giving back. So the Kaepernicks chose Camp Taylor.
“We’re blessed with that it’s been incredible for children with heart disease. It’s like they get robbed of part of their childhood,” said Camp Taylor founder Kimberlie Gamino. “Colin, getting involved with us, has given them a piece of their childhood back.”
Rick and Teresa Kaepernick lost two newborn boys to congenital heart disease. Then, more than six years later, they adopted Colin.
“It was kind of a sudden desire that our family wasn’t complete,” said Teresa.
They say things happen for a reason. From backup to starter, Colin is now in a rushed rise to the top. But, the Kaepernicks are well aware Colin’s battle barely compares to a baby born with half a heart.
“These kids sort of embrace life. You start to see that maybe it’s not forever,” said Teresa.
Eight-year-old Morgan Bessler was beaming with Colin at the 49ers game against Miami. He told them he takes his heart camp bracelet everywhere.
“It makes my heart feel happy,” said Bessler.
“One girl sat on Colin’s lap and said ‘Colin this is my heart, this is yours, this is the difference,’ and they were so well educated,” said Rick.
Colin may make headlines with his work on the field, but to these kids, it’s his work off the field that’s so good for their hearts.
You can bet they’ll be supporting Colin during Super Bowl Sunday. They’ll be watching together from Double Tree Hotel in Modesto where there’s going to be a lot of Kaepernicking.
Kaepernicking t-shirts are available at http://www.KidsHeartCamp.org to benefit Camp Taylor.