T.J. Olsen has a famous father who made his mark on the NFL for 14 seasons. But since he gets to see Greg Olsen all the time, the 10-year-old is a big fan of Aaron Rodgers and had a dream to meet the Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
This past weekend, the dream came true when the Green Bay Packers played the New York Jets. Rodgers met with Olsen prior to the game, chatted with him and posed for a picture. The elder Olsen was announcing the game with Kevin Burkhardt and the two reflected on the powerful moment, especially as T.J. had a heart transplant a year ago.
“Some things, Greg, are more important than the game,” Burkhardt said. “…Your son’s face was beaming.”
“He’s been fortunate, he’s been through a lot,” Olsen said. “His one wish, he said, ‘I want to come to a Green Bay game with you, Dad, and I would love to meet Aaron Rodgers.’ Thankfully Erin (Andrews) knows Aaron really well, texted him last night and he was kind enough before the game. It meant a lot to T.J. It meant a lot to us. That was a really special moment for him.”
T.J., who is a twin, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a condition where the left side of the heart is underdeveloped or nearly missing at birth. He had a series of three open heart surgeries to reconstruct his heart and redirect blood flow. Last summer, doctors said it was time for a new heart and he had a successful heart transplant last June.
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“He’s really doing well,” Olsen told USA TODAY Sports in November. “We kind of go checkup at a time. So far, the checkups have gone really well, and the doctors are happy with how his body’s kind of healing and adapting to a new heart. It’s a wild thing, but he’s doing really well.”
Even though the Packers lost to the Jets, a memory was made for an even bigger win than a game.