The past week has been a whirlwind for Greg Olsen and his family. From his son being hospitalized with a heart condition he has been dealing with his whole life to getting a heart transplant that would save his life, the Olsen family has shown amazing strength.
Now, they using their story and their platform to spread some of their good fortunes to other families with children going down a path similar to TJ’s. After partnering with Glory Days Apparel, Greg and TJ created a shirt to help raise money of The HEARTest Yard.
According to the foundation’s website, “Since 2013, The HEARTest Yard, an initiative of Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation, has been joining forces with Levine Children’s Hospital and Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute to support families of children with congenital heart disease. And now, with the launch of our region’s first neurodevelopmental program of its kind, we’re taking the next step to help these children not just survive, but thrive into adulthood.”
To buy the shirts, which 100-percent of the proceeds go to The HEARTest Yard, just click here. The sale ends on June 15, so hurry fast!
It started a week ago when Greg announced on Instagram:
“DAY 1: TJ has been an inspiration to everyone he has ever met. He has always defeated the odds since birth.Today marks the official start to our journey on the heart transplant list. We don’t know how long it will be, but we have started the race. It is not lost on us that a life must be lost for his life to be saved. Our hearts break with the thought. We pray that all families involved find peace through this difficult process. Please keep our boy TJ in your prayers. They work. #playforTJ #halveaheart“Greg Olsen
Then, Greg announced on June 4th some amazing, incredible, heart-warming news as he shared on his Instagram:
“A day we have prayed for has arrived. We were alerted last night that there was a donor match for TJ to receive his heart transplant”.
Here’s what transpired for the Olsen family over the past weeek.
Greg’s wife, Kara (per the Charlotte Observer) and Greg stood hand-in-hand next to their son, right by his side in this difficult yet inspiring journey he’s been on.
“Day 8- Today is a day of mixed emotions. A day we have prayed for has arrived. We were alerted last night that there was a donor match for TJ to receive his heart transplant. Walking our little boy, with tears of hope and fear in our eyes, was one of the toughest moments of our lives. We ask for everyone’s prayers for TJ and his amazing team of doctors and nurses. TJ has a long road ahead of him but today is a huge step forward. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the outpouring of support through this entire journey. The Olsen Family #playfortj“
Greg shares an update of his son in another Instagram post:
“Your prayers and well wishes have been working and we’re beyond grateful. Our boy is a fighter…”
“TJ is resting comfortably following his transplant yesterday. His team of doctors and nurses have been incredible. He was able to have his chest closed today and we’re hopeful he can start to wake up over the next day or so. All early signs have been positive. Your prayers and well wishes have been working and we’re beyond grateful. Our boy is a fighter and we can wait to talk to him! #playfortj“.
Olsen shares a video of his son!
“Day 4 of TJ’s new heart: TJ has a message for everyone out there 🙏💚 #playfortj“
Greg’s son, TJ, said: “Hi everybody, thank you for thinking of me, thank you for praying with me…we love you guys, bye!”
The Olsen’s, including TJ, continually appreciate all the prayers. Thank God TJ is doing great and in good spirits and may he continue to heal and rest up, recover well after the surgery.
Greg Olsen has been to three Pro Bowls in his career and was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Shout out to all he was able to accomplish in the NFL. But, this. This is life.
From being able to celebrate his retirement a few months ago with his family to celebrating this victory for his son today, these are special moments for his family.
And I’m sure for Greg and his family, this moment with his son, being by his side, seeing him fight through all this adversity is a win that is priceless and far surpasses everything he was able to accomplish on the field. Because this is family. This is life. These are the unforgettable moments to cherish for a lifetime as a family. And that is a Pro Bowl-quality-type win.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
- 1 “A day we have prayed for has arrived. We were alerted last night that there was a donor match for TJ to receive his heart transplant”.
- 2 June 4
- 3 June 6
- 4 “Your prayers and well wishes have been working and we’re beyond grateful. Our boy is a fighter…”
- 5 June 7
- 6 “Day 4 of TJ’s new heart: TJ has a message for everyone out there 🙏💚 #playfortj“
- 7 Greg’s son, TJ, said: “Hi everybody, thank you for thinking of me, thank you for praying with me…we love you guys, bye!”
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