ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Josh Gordy is thrilled to be here. Not thrilled to be playing in the biggest game in football (although he is) he’s thrilled to be playing pro football period.
The rookie cornerback out of Central Michigan University didn’t start the season on the roster of the NFC Champion Green Bay Packers. He started training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars but wound up in Green Bay after Week 11 of the season.
And while he probably won’t see action during the game, he will be on the sidelines of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
But all that is secondary to the mission Josh has of bringing awareness to the bleeding disorder Hemophilia.
Gordy’s 8-year-old nephew Nolan was diagnosed with Hemophilia at birth, and Josh is now using his resource as a professional football player to tell Nolan’s story.
Nolan’s medication, called clotting factor, can cost his family an upwards of $2,000 per treatment. Gordy admits he didn’t know much of Hemophilia before Nolan was born. “Nobody paid attention to it, but once he was born, you realize the severity,” he said.
But having Hemophilia isn’t keeping Nolan from being a kid.
Gordy calls Nolan his ‘Tough Little Soldier’ for the expensive infusion treatments Nolan gives himself almost daily to keep his joints from bleeding. “He’s still moving, you can’t keep him down,” says Gordy, who adds Nolan is like any other 8-year-old. “He’s always trying to do something,” he laughs.
Gordy’s family, who are from the Augusta, Georgia area, will be cheering the Packers on from the stands at Cowboys Stadium Sunday, and Nolan will be there cheering for his uncle’s team.
But it’s what he plans to do in the off-season that is what makes this rookie stand out.
Gordy wants to help bring awareness to the Hemophilia community in his home state of Georgia and nationally, and hopes to begin a foundation focusing on research and advocacy for the cause. “I want to make it more understood, it’s expensive.”
He also wants to be a role model to kids with Hemophilia, to let them know that even if they never play pro football, they can do whatever they set their mind to. “Fight and never give up. Do whatever it is you want to do to your fullest, and don’t settle.”
He adds that if the Packers win, getting to meet the President would be a great opportunity to talk to him about Hemophilia, but says that might be difficult with the entire team at the White House. “He’s a busy man, but it would be a great topic to speak with him on.”
But even if he doesn’t get his photo in the White House Rose Garden, and even if he doesn’t play in Sunday’s game, Josh Gordy knows that just by speaking up for kids with Hemophilia, he’ll already be a hero to many.