Not Just Another Pretty Uniform

Heisman Winner Charles Woodson - A Winner In More Ways than Just On-Field

Charles Woodson wants to be known as more than a football player.

Donating $2 million to the new University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital and Women’s Hospital gives him a chance to do that.

The school announced Woodson’s gift on Thanksgiving before he played for the Green Bay Packers against the Detroit Lions.

Then, he intercepted two passes — returning one for a score — forced a fumble, recovered it and had a sack.

“It was a good day,” Woodson said after Green Bay’s 34-12 win in Detroit.

His donation will support pediatric research by The Charles Woodson Clinical Research Fund in the $754-million, 1.1-million square foot hospital scheduled to open in 2012.

“He’s really studied and tried to understand what the issues are in doing research in pediatrics,” Dr. Valerie Castle said. “What most people don’t know is that less than 10 percent of the National Institute of Health budget goes toward research in pediatric disease.

“When you study those patients, you often times get clues to adult diseases.”

Woodson hopes to attract the world’s best researchers who want to help children with cancer, heart disease, kidney disorders and autism.

“I want to be part of that symbol of hope,” Woodson said. “So that they can say, ‘I know I can beat this thing and there’s people out there who will help me beat it.’”

Woodson said during a visit to Ann Arbor earlier this month that becoming a father in January motivated him to make the gift, altering his outlook on life.
“It can change a lot,” he said.

Lloyd Carr, his coach at Michigan, hopes Woodson’s gift pushes his peers to also give back.

“I think it’s going to have a significant influence across the athletic world that he decided to do this,” Carr said.

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