We're in the middle of an NFL lockout, but even during the slowest of stretches there's always something to talk about. Whether it's Lovie Smith and Brian Urlacher saying the Bears are the best team in the NFC North, or the stories tangentially related to football, like Urlacher encouraging elementary school kids to not be fat, or Wisconsin politicians using Jay Cutler as their comedy punching bag.
But not everything between Green Bay and Chicago is about rivalry. Here's some heartwarming news from ChicagoBears.com's Larry Mayer who writes about Bears fan Peter Cashman owing his life to a Packers fan.
Cashman, 55, received a liver transplant two months ago from a 32-year-old Packers fan named Amy Larson who had died unexpectedly the day before the operation that saved his life.
"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 told ChicagoBears.com.
"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."
It was almost a year after Cashman received his new liver before he learned that Larson was a Packers fan. Only after speaking with Larson's mother on the phone did he learn about his donor's football allegiances. "I told [Amy's mother] 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, who had been on the transplant list since November 2009, admits that he thought he might die before getting a new liver. He now encourages all fans, regardless of team loyalty, to be organ donors.
"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."