From touchdowns to touching lives

ElderFriends volunteer Becky adorned in her Seattle Seahawks jersey and beanie. A Russell Wilson poster hangs on the wall behind her, along with other sports posters.

The stadium lights shine brightly on the players as they run across the field. There are pats on the back given as a successful touchdown is made. However, instead of the screams of avid Seahawks supporters echoing through the stadium, ElderFriends pals Felix and Becky cheer on their favorite football teams at home in front of television screens.

This is how the friends have been spending much of their free time these past few months. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it so sports fans are unable to enjoy their favorite teams live and make new friends at games, Felix and Becky have found a way around this by bonding over their shared love for Seattle sports teams.

A connection through sports

Having met through ElderFriends, Full Life Care’s program that matches elders and volunteers together for companionship, during quarantine, Felix and Becky started their friendship through phone calls, but have built and maintained a strong connection by reviewing Seahawks games together.

Through their calls, they’ve discovered that they are both football and baseball enthusiasts who are dedicated fans of the Seahawks and Mariners. “She’s very knowledgeable about sports and likes the same stuff as me,” said Felix. In fact, when asked if they could only pick one football team to watch, they both chose the Seahawks without hesitation because of their Seattle pride. “As a Seattle fan, I’d have to say the Seahawks,” said Becky. “There’s lots of good energy at their games.”

As a life-long devoted fan to Seattle sports teams, Felix is a living encyclopedia of all things Seattle sports-related. “Felix has a lifetimes worth of Seattle sports knowledge,” Becky said. “He knows a lot about teams that no longer exist and the evolution of how current teams came to be where they are today.” Every time she speaks to Felix, she learns something new about the history of Seattle sports teams, which never fails to amaze her.

A match made in quarantine

When asked about how their friendship has made a positive impact on their lives during the pandemic, they had nothing but heartfelt sentiments to say about one another. Felix said that she gives him “someone to talk to during these times of isolation,” while Becky voiced that “Every time I get on the phone with him, it never feels like a chore. I always leave our conversations in a good mood. I can hear his voice light up when he realizes it’s me on the phone, and I feel appreciated by him.”

Felix and Becky’s friendship highlights the warm reality that despite the physical distance from others, it’s still possible to build meaningful relationships. From chatting about touchdowns to touching each other’s lives, they have found true companionship through their ElderFriends match.

“My friendship with Felix is lovely and playful,” Becky stated. “The fact that it even exists has made such a positive impact on my life.”

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