Ravens linebacker visits town Paul Kruger raises funds for mother and baby center
By Mike McClure
Baltimore Ravens' linebacker Paul Kruger was in Seaford last Tuesday to sign autographs and raise money for Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Mother and Baby Care Center. Kruger also made an appearance at the hospital, touring the center following a press conference.
Kruger, who has suffered a pair of life-threatening injuries, knows the important role hospitals and their workers play. He was involved in an accident when he was 13 years old and was stabbed when he was in college.
"I've gone through a few experiences in life where I've been laid up in the hospital and needed the help from different foundations and people raising money," said Kruger. "The bills can get outrageous and I almost lost my life a couple times so I can really appreciate what people at hospitals and medical centers do for you."
"You don't know how much you need them until you need them."
Kruger and his family started the Kruger Care Foundation to help children and their families. On Tuesday, he signed autographs to raise money for Nanticoke's Mother and Baby Care Center, something he had heard about and wanted to be a part of.
Kruger, an outside linebacker, is in his fourth year in the NFL after being drafted in the second round out of Utah University.
"I think that [being a pro football player] is a big responsibility.
It's hard to put that responsibility on a bunch of guys that are just out of college," Kruger said. "I've been in the NFL for four years now. I see the way that children look up to me and other players. I see how much they follow the games and how you conduct yourself."
Kruger, a Mormon, spent two years on a mission trip in the Kansas City area following high school. He played for the Utes for two years before going out for the draft after his sophomore season.
"A mission can include everything from cutting an elderly person's lawn to teaching them about Christ, it's just a number of different things," said Kruger. "It was a great experience and something I always kind of lean back on in life. I learned so many different things about people and what people kind of thirst for in life. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had."
On the football field Kruger has made quite an impact for the Ravens over the last three games. He recorded a sack and four tackles in last Sunday's 16-13 win over San Diego; had a sack, a forced fumble, and two tackles in a 13-10 win over Pittsburgh; and made five tackles with one assist, two sacks, and an interception against Oakland.
"I'm going to be doing everything in my power to create those plays for my team. Those are the kind of plays that change games," Kruger said. "Anytime you can influence the game like that and make those positive plays like that it just generates a lot of momentum your way and that's something we need right now toward the end of the last half of the season."
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