Many have been touched by Tom Rinaldi’s story on Lukas Kusters, “The Dutch Destroyer.” But Philadelphia native SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi was especially moved.
“When I saw the piece debut on that Sunday I kept saying to myself, ‘I want to meet this family,’” Negandhi said. “I wanted to do something for [Lukas’s younger brother] Travis.”
A few weeks ago when Monday Night Football was in Philly for Redskins versus Eagles, Negandhi was on the sidelines with his family when he ran into reporter and friend Rinaldi.
“My kids start yelling, ‘There’s Carson! There’s Carson!’ And Rinaldi looks over at Carson Wentz greeting a family and tells me, ‘There is Lukas’s family,’” Negandhi said. “So I went up and introduced myself to them and told them that their story is amazing and that I wanted to do something for them. Especially being from Philadelphia and both being Eagles fans, I really identified with them.”
After talking for a few minutes, Negandhi and Lukas’s mother, Rebecca Burmeff, came up with the idea of having the family spend a day at ESPN. That day came last week.
The family got a personal tour on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus from Negandhi where they saw all of the studios, tried on Eagles helmets, ate lunch in the ESPN Cafe and ended the day with the NFL Live crew.
“Everyone has been so great to us, especially at ESPN,” Rebecca said. “When I woke up on Thanksgiving the first text message I received was from Tom Rinaldi wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving.”
A great time hosting Lukas’ family @espn. He was remembered fondly w heartwarming stories. The @eagles and @NDSUathletics well represented @cj_wentz. You can still donate for #DutchDestroyer bands at https://t.co/qcajaS8fJQ @livelikelukas14 pic.twitter.com/or3JSMhrYz
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) December 1, 2017