Jarrius Robertson visits Donaldsonville to promote organ donations

Michael Tortorich

A special guest, Jarrius “Little JJ” Robertson, shared his journey with organ donation at Donaldsonville City Hall last week.

Jarrius “Little JJ” Robertson, shown at center with the proclamation, was among the special guests April 15 at Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan’s Facebook Live program. Also pictured, from left, are: Constable Jeffery Henry, Lori Steele, Peggy Guillot, Don Guillot, Mayor Sullivan, Sid Williams, and Pastor Matt Bender.

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan welcomed Robertson, the Guillot family, and Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency representatives to the April 15 Facebook livestream of the Making Progress program. 

The mayor proclaimed April 16 as Organ Donation Awareness Day and set up a table with information on organ donation inside City Hall. A Donate Life flag was flown in front of the building.

Robertson has been well-known as a Louisiana sports superfan and promoter of organ donation. He has captivated the hearts of many as he has undergone two liver transplants, at ages one and 17, while battling a rare disease called biliary atresia. He said he was in a coma for at least a year.

Lori Steele, Jarrius “Little JJ” Robertson, Peggy Guillot, and others chat briefly after a Donate Life flag was placed in front of City Hall.

Robertson garnered national attention when members of the New Orleans Saints and the LSU football team offered their support while he was receiving treatment. Also, he was featured in a World Wrestling Entertainment event, Wrestlemania in New Orleans, where he received the Warrior Award.

His upbeat attitude and big personality shined through as the mayor introduced him during the city’s livestream.

“I’m doing good right now. Through this pandemic, I’m trying to stay healthy,” Robertson said.

After graduating this spring, he plans to attend LSU to study media and photography.

As April is National Donate Life Month, LOPA and the City of Donaldsonville have been working together to promote organ donation. 

The Guillot family have been ambassadors throughout the area for some three decades. At the beginning of the year, the late Shawn Elizabeth Guillot represented Louisiana as the state’s hero in the Rose Parade festivities in California.

 “I consider (donors) heroes,” Robertson said. “They donated when they passed, and it made sick people healthy. They can save a life, even though they’re gone. Their spirit still lives on through someone else.”

He said he still keeps in touch with his donor’s family.

 “Even though he’s not here anymore, it’s like he’s here because I’m living for him,” he added.