Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bleeding Green and Gold

Like many teams in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers have their own Hall of Fame. One of the things that makes the Packers Hall of Fame special is the fact that they actually induct fans. This year, they inducted only their 12th fan, Jim Becker of Racine, Wisconsin.

Jim, a long-time season-ticket holder who has attended games every year from 1952 through 2008, saw his first game in 1941 when he was only 11 years old.

When times were tight, Jim had trouble paying for his season tickets, so he sold his blood for 15 dollars a pint. And, incredibly, selling his blood saved his life. During a recent routine physical, he learned he had a deadly condition called hemochromatosis. The only treatment for this condition is to remove excess iron in the blood ... by donating it.

By the time he learned of his condition, Jim had sold 145 pints of blood to pay for his season tickets. If he hadn't, he would have died. His love of the Packers saved his life.

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