FIREBAUGH, Calif. – The passionate Bills fans have certainly shown the nation this year how much they love their Bills and that love has also extended to Josh Allen’s family back in Firebaugh.
Patricia Allen, Josh’s grandmother, died in early November at the age of 80 from heart-related issues, right in the middle of the Bills storybook season.
In response to that news the Buffalo fanbase, affectionately known as the Bills Mafia, rallied around the Bills quarterback and the Allen family by encouraging people to donate to the Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, in Patricia’s honor.
Many fans donated in $17 increments (Josh wears No. 17) and with Josh donating $17,000 himself, the fund passed $1 million on December 28, and as of Sunday’s AFC Championship game, had grown to over $1.14 million.
“I am so touched by it,” said Josh’s aunt and Patricia’s daughter Cindy Best, outside her home in Firebaugh on Sunday. “Every time I see how much money is raised, I get teary-eyed, and I know that my mom would be, just so beside herself in pride, and she was a mom and a wonderful grandmother, and so, children were her life, and it’s just such a great thing that her name is connected with something so wonderful, that will help so many people, and the Bills Mafia, they are fantastic, as far as I’m concerned, I’m a member now.”
“I get teared up every time I think about it,” said Josh’s father and Patricia’s son Joel, over the phone on Sunday. “I just think about all those fans that made that sacrafice to honor my mother, Josh’s grandmother, and it’s just something that’s gonna be instilled in my heart forever.”
Patricia died a little over a month after celebrating her 80th birthday in late September. Josh was one of only three grandchildren who couldn’t make it to the party, but on a facetime chat with his grandmother, he dedicated his win over the Rams that weekend to her. Patricia said that day was one of the best days of her life.