PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rocking his famous beard and a camouflage Santa suit, retired Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is making the Christmas season a whole lot brighter for kids at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Distinctly different from Santa Claus, Keisel is “Camo Santa,” partnering up with Field and Stream to deliver some cool gifts and smiles.
“That’s where Camo Santa lives – Field and Stream. If you go in there, you see the deer on the display in the back. I live way back there in a little land called Camo Land,” said Keisel to the children.
Keisel, who is also a pro-staff member for Field and Stream, partnered with the outdoor company to make the event possible.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 4, 2018
If any beard rivals Santa’s, Keisel’s may be it. He even let the children tug on it to prove that it’s real. “Camo Santa is 100% real,” said Keisel.
Like Santa, Keisel said he gets more out of giving.
“It’s inspirational to see them fighting through the things they have to fight through. Sometimes every day we get caught up, you know? But they put things in perspective for me,” said Keisel.
He visits Children’s hospital often.
“Every time I come down, I see their strength, I feel their strength, and it always leaves me feeling just amazed,” said Keisel.
There are lots of magical moments. “Someday, I’m going to be as strong as you guys someday,” said Keisel. All the kids know he admires their strength.