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Bears fan gets gift of life from Packers fan

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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 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.

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32 Responses to “Bears fan gets gift of life from Packers fan”
  1. savocabol1 says: May 20, 2011 9:00 AM

    Congratulations to Peter Cashman and RIP to Amy Larson.

  2. packattack1967 says: May 20, 2011 9:00 AM

    Nice one Mike, on a side note, a usable liver coming from Wisconsin is rare indeed.

  3. packfntk says: May 20, 2011 9:04 AM

    I hate the Bears almost as much as the Vikings, but if I pass away and someone needs my parts to live I would be thrilled to save a life, regardless of the color of their jersey.

  4. xxbomberxx says: May 20, 2011 9:29 AM

    There no way you take my spare parts to Soldier Field to root for the stinking Bears… I’ll say a prayer for you and console your wife, but no deal.

  5. theroc5156 says: May 20, 2011 9:36 AM

    I’m a Bengals fan and would prefer my organs go to a non-Bengals fan.

    That way, at least part of me would be happy on Sundays.

  6. kenhawk says: May 20, 2011 9:42 AM

    Said it on a previous thread and I’ll say it again here. I was at the NFC Championship game and there was no shortage of Pack and Bears fans associating. A Bears fan pushing a Packers fan’s wheelchair is an image I’ll never forget. Met some nice GB fans and every single one kept it classy after the game.

    I’m sure there’s the instances where things don’t work out as harmoniously, but this is a nice story to read.

  7. richm2256 says: May 20, 2011 10:11 AM

    As someone who has a family member on a liver transplant list, I would say thank you to Amy’s family for going through with the organ donation. I don’t know Mr. Cashman, but I do know the cause behind the need for a majority of liver transplants, and hope he will make the best use of this precious gift.

    He knows what I mean.

  8. smoothjimmyapollo says: May 20, 2011 10:25 AM

    @kenhawk, that’s a nice story and I think a large reason everybody was so nice to each other was that both fan bases were scared to death of losing. After the Packers beat the Eagles, I remember saying that I would rather lose to the Falcons in the divisional round than lose to the Bears in the championship. The fan base of the winning team of this game has bragging rights until the next time the two teams meet in the same game (and who knows when that might be). Plus, I think a lot of Bears fans weren’t angry that they lost to the Packers, they were angry at Jay Cutler.

  9. canadianvikingfaniii says: May 20, 2011 10:28 AM

    That is a good heart warming story. I feel that anyone who would think that “it came from a Packer (or whatever team), I’m not going to take it” is an idiot who needs their head examined. Goodness can be found in all types of people, and that in general most people are decent. I think we tend to forget that, regardless of their passions and beliefs.

  10. stellarperformance says: May 20, 2011 10:40 AM

    packattack1967 says:
    May 20, 2011 9:00 AM
    Nice one Mike, on a side note, a usable liver coming from Wisconsin is rare indeed.

    Under the circumstances I had to wince when I read this (but it is kinda funny!)

  11. shieldsisland37 says: May 20, 2011 10:49 AM

    My kidney would reject a Bears fan’s body. It would be choked by all the cholesterol and ignorance.

  12. meso0rnery says: May 20, 2011 10:59 AM

    If someone would have just donated their heart to Jay Cutler, the Bears would have been in the Superbowl…

  13. chobes68 says: May 20, 2011 11:09 AM

    Some people take this rivalry stuff way too seriously. Bears and Packers fans have friends on both sides of the rivalry. It certainly is more gracious than most rivalries. There are meatheads on both sides, but the hatred stuff is overblown, as I’ve know fans on both sides root for their rivals when their team was out of it.

  14. comeonnowguys says: May 20, 2011 11:16 AM

    Hate the packers, love the fans, love the rivalry.

    As for the Vikings… yeah, the league could just contract them and be the better for it.

  15. jakek2 says: May 20, 2011 11:54 AM

    As a Giants’ fan, I would only donate to an Eagles’ fan if they wore my Eli jersey to a Giants-Eagles game at the Linc. Then he can truly see how classless his fan base is.

  16. minnesconsin says: May 20, 2011 12:07 PM

    can we please all just hold hands and sing kumbayah? this rare moment of peace begs for an unusual display of unity.

  17. tomoneoftwo says: May 20, 2011 12:17 PM

    I hate the Packers!

    I hate the Bears

    I hate the Vikings.

    However, that being said, I wish no individual ill will.

    Go Lions

  18. mushroomcloudmofo says: May 20, 2011 12:24 PM

    As a Packer fan, I wouldn’t (won’t) care who gets my internals – as long as they go to good use.

    Perspective like this story is important. Too often we get so blinded by allegiances in sports, politics, religion, etc… that we lose the bigger picture. For better or worse we’re all in this together.

    / Off soapbox.

  19. jutts says: May 20, 2011 12:30 PM

    There is a time when you put your fandom aside: Nothing is more important than saving a life.

  20. granadafan says: May 20, 2011 1:06 PM

    Bless Amy Larson and her generous family for giving the gift of life even if it was at the expense of this special person. Sports is just a game. Life is precious and we’re all human beings.

  21. vikingqueen24 says: May 20, 2011 1:06 PM

    I gave my kidney to my husband. I am a Vikings fan, he is a Packers fan. I hate the Packers more than anything, but now at least I can say that my husband is at least, in part, a Vikings fan. He does say he has twinges of wanting to cheer for the Vikes. I am hoping that my “Vikings kidney” eventually takes over the rest of his body! 🙂

  22. vadog says: May 20, 2011 1:17 PM

    I work in healthcare, and see a number of patients who are in need of transplants. The number of donars who actually have usable organs or tissues is quite small. Most people die due to a disease process that most often excludes them from donating.

    However, the larger the pool of persons who identify themselves as potential donars increases the likelihood of transplantable organs and tissues being available. We would encourage everyone reading this to give all due consideration to becoming a donar. Thank you.

  23. gregjennings85 says: May 20, 2011 1:19 PM

    I would gladly give my organs to anyone in-need, after death, regardless of their fandom.

    This is a great story, but it leads me to wonder: Deep down, did part of Peter feel alright about the Packers advancing?

    Seriously, I know we get a bad rap, mostly for our one-sided passion for the Packers, but the fact remains, people in Wisconsin would give anything to a person in-need.

  24. Little Earthquake says: May 20, 2011 1:28 PM

    That is a heartwarming story. The best part is that the recipient will live to see the Packers stomp Chicago many more times, en route to many more titles. (I’m joking of course – a lot of love between GB and Chicago, just not on game day.)

  25. richm2256 says: May 20, 2011 1:29 PM

    meso0rnery says:
    If someone would have just donated their heart to Jay Cutler, the Bears would have been in the Superbowl…

    POST OF THE WEEK !!!!!!!!!


    vikingqueen24 says:
    I am hoping that my “Vikings kidney” eventually takes over the rest of his body!

    He’s just hoping that it doesn’t fail miserably.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist a shot at the Vikings. What you did for your husband was incredible, God bless you both.

  26. andrewf16 says: May 20, 2011 1:45 PM

    packattack1967 says:
    May 20, 2011 9:00 AM
    Nice one Mike, on a side note, a usable liver coming from Wisconsin is rare indeed.

    DAMN! Nice one!

  27. obsession55 says: May 20, 2011 1:50 PM

    A functional liver from a Packers fan??? You’re a lucky man Peter, congrats

  28. madlithuanian says: May 20, 2011 2:08 PM

    I’m a lifelong Bears fan, and the Packers are my most hated rival. However, due to the history of the game and the teams, there is much respect there. (barring a few select moments…) I’ ve have my fair share of arguments w/ all kinds of fans, and Packers fans tend to be quite knowedgeble. A good natured ribbing is always in order!

    Bottom line, I’d give or take my organs from just about anyone on earth barring the real obvious (disease, serial killer, etc.).

  29. kevinfromphilly says: May 20, 2011 4:22 PM


    The odds of you having a viable kidney, after living near the chemical dump that is north Jersey, are pretty low.

  30. kenhawk says: May 20, 2011 8:08 PM

    @smoothjimmyapollo, completely understand. Being a Bears fan, that game is going to sting a long time. A loss to any other team is a different world.

    Not that it matters, but not a single person had a clue what was going on when we saw Cutler was not in. And it was too cold to get upset.

  31. puregreed says: May 20, 2011 10:12 PM

    “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.”

    I wont because its football, not someones life. You really are an idiot arent you Mike?

  32. axespray says: May 23, 2011 2:35 AM

    As long as they get a BIG Tattoo of the Packer’s “G” on my liver before putting it in the other person, than I’ll be cool with it.

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