The rivalry between the Bears and Packers reached a new level earlier this year, when the two teams met for only the second time ever in the postseason, for a berth in Super Bowl XLV. In one very specific respect, however, the ice between the teams’ fans has thawed considerably.
Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com writes that Peter Cashman, a Bears fan, desperately needed a new liver last year. He received it after Amy Larson, a Packers fan, died suddenly at age 32.
“I know Bears fans that would probably say they’d give their organs to anybody but a Packers fan and I know Packers fans that would probably say the same thing about Bears fans,” Cashman said. “But it doesn’t matter who donates to save your life. That’s the big story here. It’s a sad thing that they have to lose their life in order for someone else to live. But whoever is a donor is a donor.”
Cashman didn’t realize that Amy Larson was a Packers fan until Cashman spoke earlier this year with Larson’s mother by phone. “I told her that I was a Bears season-ticket holder and that I went to the NFC Championship Game against the Packers,” Cashman said. “She laughed and said, ‘At least a part of you went home happy.’”
Cashman was close to death when the liver became available. In fact, he was so sick that doctors considered giving the liver to someone else.
“The rivalry is nothing compared to what happens in life every day. To get a gift from somebody in Green Bay land, it doesn’t matter [that they were a Packers fan]. I thank Amy Larson’s family for the gift of life. It’s been a blessing.”
That said, we’ve got a feeling in light of this story that Bears fans, Packers fans, and fans of the other 30 teams will at least consider adding an asterisk or two to their donor cards.