You can tell a lot about a people by the way they talk, act and write. A kind word, a smile and a memorable phrase give us a glimpse into a person. The phrase “Brandon, thanks for being an inspiration to me” referring to a 20-year-old who has battled cancer for 8 years is an inscription accompanying the autograph of the Packers’ impressive quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. It was not your traditional “Best Wishes” to be sure, but it tells you something about Aaron Rodgers.
Fans of the National Football League know about Aaron’s winning actions on the field. Some friends of the MACC Fund know a little about him off the field as well since he makes a point of helping the MACC Fund help kids.
The most recent occasion of this impressive commitment to helping the children was “A Pack Lunch with Aaron Rodgers” held at a “Packers Party House” in the shadows of Lambeau Field on an appropriately named street – “Shadow Lane” on a chilly December 4. The nice folks at Robinson Metals offered the MACC Fund their great Packers themed venue complete with a giant Lombardi Trophy in the yard to raise funds while spreading the mission of the MACC Fund to help the children. Aaron’s fine business and management team from RBSH Enterprises teamed up with the MACC Fund and its great friend, Greg Klimek of Green Bay, for this unique “Lunch Hour” which was generously sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Banking. Aaron made time in his busy schedule on the Saturday before the 49ers game to join the crowd of 60 or so people who came together on Shadow Lane with him to help the MACC Fund.
Brandon, a junior at UW-Green Bay, will long remember meeting the quarterback whom he admired from afar. His admiration has grown since the signal caller decided to help the MACC Fund earlier this year. It was apparent by Aaron’s inscription on Brandon’s white-paneled Packers commemorative football that his battle against cancer caught the attention of the field general who knows something about battling an aggressive opponent. It was readily apparent for all to see as Aaron met Brandon wearing a 2010 Pro Bowl replica #12 Rodgers jersey. The difference is the gravity of the battles they face. Brandon has been in a battle for his life since he was in seventh grade. Like Aaron, he is winning. Everyone was touched when Brandon said “I believe I am alive today because of the MACC Fund.” He says that a lot. It strikes us each time he says it. It is a reminder of the important work we are fortunate to do along with friends like you.
The Pro Bowler touched the hearts of those who joined him across the street from his place of work on Lombardi Avenue. As the 27-year-old QB graciously waited patiently with a slight smile in the awkward moments as the autograph line stopped to join in singing a 2-day belated “Happy Birthday Dear Aaron, Happy Birthday to You,” a man was overheard saying “He gets it.”
Indeed. Aaron does “get it” on the field as national commentators and pigskin experts assert; and from what we have seen from his time helping the children through the MACC Fund, he also “gets it” off the field. Undoubtedly he has athletic greatness about him, but that greatness is not limited to actions which take place between the lines. His athleticism doesn’t limit his desire to help others as the MACC Fund and its friends have seen this year. In fact, it seems to magnify it.
So when you cheer Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on the field, remember that like you, he is inspired by a child or a young person battling cancer. We know that because we just saw it firsthand. He showed it with kind words, a smile, a hand shake and an inscription along with his autograph for a newfound friend whose 8-year battle with cancer beats anything that Aaron will encounter on the field. “Brandon, thanks for being an inspiration to me” is a refreshing turnabout in the world of role models. Aaron truly “gets it.”
Brandon, and many other kids, inspire me too. And I know by your generous actions over the 34-years of the MACC Fund that they inspire you as well. We invite you to visit www.maccfund.org and consider clicking on DONATE to show your support. In this season of giving, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving for it is “A Gift of Hope through Research” to a child with cancer or a blood disorder.
Thanks to you. And Aaron, thanks for your “Gift of Hope” through your “Gift of Time.” Go Pack Go!
~John Cary – Executive Director
Filed under: Notes of Hope