The New Orleans Saints have many fans, but not many have touched their hearts like Jarrius Robertson, the 15-year-old boy who suffers from chronic liver disease biliary atresia.
This young Saints superfan is going to be recognized in front of the entire sports world when he receives the ESPYS Jimmy V Perseverance Award on July 12.
“When I first heard the news I thought I was dreaming!” Robertson said in a statement. “The ESPYS? For real? The past two years have been a blessing in so many ways for me and my family. I have been able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. But to be included with Craig Sager, Stuart Scott, Leah and Devon Still, Eric LeGrand and the man himself, Jimmy V, is truly amazing and I am really grateful and humbled.”
He made a lasting impression on Saints players during a 2015 hospital visit and has been beloved by the organization ever since, attending practices and team events. Now the Saints, along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, are giving $25,000 each to help Robertson with expenses associated with his continuing medical care.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) July 12, 2017
“Jarrius has served as an inspiration for Gayle and I and our entire organization since he first came into contact with us in 2015 at Ochsner Hospital for Children,” said Mr. Benson in a statement released by the team. “In his fight against this serious liver disease, he has shown great resiliency and optimism, supporting our team much more than we could ever support him. In addition to assisting Jarrius and his family with some of their expenses, we also would like to bring attention to the importance of organ donation, an important cause which Jarrius has been steadfast in promoting.”
Robertson has been fighting the liver disease since just after he was born. He received his first liver transplant at the age of one, though complications have persisted throughout his childhood even with the new organ.
Finally, on April 30, 2017, he received his second liver transplant, which was performed by the Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Institute surgeons at Ochsner Hospital for Children. His perseverance and good cheer throughout his tough childhood is truly inspirational.