(NEW ORLEANS) — Jarrius Robertson, the teenage superfan of the New Orleans Saints who is battling a chronic liver disease, will be honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at this year’s ESPYs, it was announced Wednesday.
The 15-year-old who has already undergone two liver transplants and 13 surgeries works as the official “hype man” for the football team. Robertson was able to meet some of the Saints players in 2015 when they visited the Ochsner Hospital for Children in Jefferson, Louisiana.
“When I first heard the news I thought I was dreaming!” Robertson said in a statement of learning that he was chosen for the ESPY. “The ESPYs? For real? The past two years have been a blessing in so many ways for me and my family. I have been able to do things I never thought I would be able to do.”
Earlier this year, Robertson made headlines when he stole the show at the 2017 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in New Orleans.
The teen also appeared live on ABC News’ Good Morning America last year, where he opened up about the lifesaving work you can do through organ donation.
“It takes lives to save lives,” Jarrius said on GMA in 2016. “That means if people go out and donate anything like blood, organ, kidneys or liver, then they can save somebody else’s life.”
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said in a statement that Robertson is “such an inspirational young man.”
“His strength, determination and resolve along with his infectious energy and attitude should be an example that no matter the circumstances or adversity with a positive outlook and embracing the motto of ‘Don’t give up … Don’t ever give up’ there isn’t a challenge that cannot be conquered,” Brees added, quoting the late basketball player Jim Valvano, for whom the ESPY Perseverance Award is named.
The 25th annual ESPYs will air on Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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