Saints punter completes 418 pull-ups in 60 minutes to fight cancer. Funds raised have exceeded more than $87,000 for former Saints employee, family.
In the days leading up to 2018 NFL training camps, many players were enjoying their last few days relaxing. New Orleans punter Thomas Morstead, however, got in one gym session – a 60-minute workout including 418 pull-ups – an effort exerted to raise awareness and financial support for a member of the Saints family.
As of Thursday, July 26, the campaign had raised $87,312 for the Cordaro family at www.60forchris.wygwg.org.
Former Saints employee Christopher Cordaro II was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroendocrine carcinoma cancer in 2016. A visit to the doctor was prompted by the noticing of a lump on his neck and lesions on his head. Doctors initially thought the symptoms were benign, but, after surgery to remove the lump and lesions, test results led to a PET scan which led to his diagnosis. Chris was battling stage 4 cancer that has spread to his pancreas and liver – and was a rare and aggressive form, especially at the young age of 36.
For the last three years, Chris has undergone chemotherapy and procedures. Having met during Thomas’ rookie year, Chris and Thomas stayed in contact throughout the treatments, including visits together at the hospital and with Chris’ wife, Jessica and their two children, Ava Grace (7) and Landon Christopher (4).
On Monday, July 23, Thomas announced he’d be spending an hour of his day doing pull-ups to raise awareness and funds for the Cordaro family. Prior to the start of the hour-long session, fans had raised more than $40,000 through What You Give Will Grow.
“The original plan was to do the fundraiser after this season and, in talking to Chris last week, he said he was up for it and wanted to be there to be a part of it,” Thomas said. “The Saints supported us to help raise funds for the family, and it was a really good day. I cannot imagine facing what he’s faced and he’s so grateful for so many things when the outlook isn’t good. I was just inspired to do something and find a way to support his family – give them a gift for their kids, maybe fund some of their college education, help him be at peace about their future, so he can focus on spending time with his family.”
Thomas and his wife, Lauren, through What You Give Will Grow, kicked off the fundraiser by donating $10,000 towards the $60,000 goal.
Contributed by What You Give Will Grow