15 Year Old Espy Award Winner & The Importance of Organ Donors


Jarrius “JJ” Robertson on the red carpet at the 2017 Espy Awards.  Photo:  abcnews7.com

Tonight, on ABC TV, Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, was presented the Jimmy Valvano (Jimmy V) Espy Award for perseverance during his 13 year battle with chronic liver disease while waiting for a second liver transplant.  He and his family did not miss the opportunity to explain the importance of becoming an organ donor to millions in the TV audience.  ‘While it is sad that someone has to die for people on the organ donor list to live,  about 25 people die each day waiting for an organ. Up to 100 people get a chance to live when people donate the organs of their love ones.’


JJ Robertson.   Photo: onlinenewplanet.com

JJ, pictured in photo to the left, and his family are grateful to the family that donated their child’s organ.



JJ with his favorite team.  Photo: abcnews.go.com



If you have not spotted this vibrant 15 year old at a Saints game or with WWA wrestlers, use the link below to see the full story.


Being a graduate of N.C. State University where Coach Valvano lead the Wolfpack to the NCAA Basketball Championship in 1983.  And, in 1985 and 1986, he lead the team to ACC championships in 1983 and 1987.  His career at N.C. State span from 1980-1990.  Hearing about the Jimmy V Espy Award of Perseverance, I could not be more proud!  JJ is such a worthy recipient.

Coach Valvano’s Espy Speech on YouTube, delivered while he was battling cancer, has received over 3,800,000 views.  His inspiring talk includes:  1) why we should all laugh, think and deal with our emotions daily;  2) his inspiration from Coach Vince Lombardi; and 3) The three most important things in life:  where you started, where you are, and where you want to be.  Valvano’s gave his Espy Award acceptance speech on March 3, 1993, just two months before losing his battle with metastatic cancer:

Thanks to the Pam Valvano, Coach Valvano’s wife, and her family for keeping Valvano’s name and legacy alive with this award and the V Foundation that raises money for cancer research.  And, congratulations to JJ for winning his 2017 Espy Award.

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