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Employee Kim Torelli (center), a patient at Smilow Cancer Hospital, got tickets to the Super Bowl Feb. 3, thanks to a donation from the NFL and the efforts of YNHH and Smilow staff. Tracy Carafeno, RN, (left), director, Patient Services, Smilow inpatient; and Diane Viveiros, LCSW, oncology clinical social worker, were among the employees who congratulated her Jan 29.

Smilow “family” helps fellow employee achieve her goal

For oncology social worker Diane Viveiros, LCSW, it was the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.

In January, she learned that Kim Torelli, an Environmental Services staff member who is being treated at Smilow Cancer Hospital, has always wanted to go to the Super Bowl. So Viveiros made some inquiries – quite a few, in fact – to see if she could get tickets. When a representative from the NFL called Viveiros back, she knew she’d scored.

On Jan. 29, she and dozens of Smilow staff members gathered on NP 14 to give Torelli the news. “I’m going to the Super Bowl! Woo-hoo!” a beaming Torelli said when she learned she and her family had three tickets to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. “I knew if anyone could pull this off, Diane could.”

Viveiros said she got a lot of help from other staff at Smilow and throughout Yale New Haven Hospital. Torelli has been a member of the Smilow team since the cancer hospital opened 10 years ago, and is loved by patients and staff alike, Viveiros said. Surrounded by her colleagues, Torelli said the feeling is mutual.

“This is my family.”