ESPYs: Saints Super Fan Jarrius Robertson to Receive Jimmy V Perseverance Award
The 15-year-old, who has been battling a chronic liver disease known as biliary atresia, made a lasting impression on the NFL players he met during a 2015 hospital visit.
New Orleans Saints super fan Jarrius "JJ" Robertson will be honored with the Jimmy V perseverance award at the 25th ESPYs, ESPN announced Wednesday.
The 15-year-old, who has been battling a chronic liver disease known as biliary atresia, made a lasting impression on Saints players that he met during a 2015 hospital visit, and since then he’s been crowned the official "hype man" and social media master for the team.
The Jimmy V perseverance award is given to a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. Past recipients of the award include Eric LeGrand, Anthony Robles, George Karl, Dick and Rick Hoyt, Stuart Scott, Devon and Leah Still and Craig Sager.
In a statement, Robertson, who has undergone two liver transplants and 13 surgeries in 15 years, said he was surprised to hear he was receiving the honor. “When I first heard the news I thought I was dreaming!” said Robertson. “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. But to be included with Craig Sager, Stuart Scott, Leah and Devon Still, Eric LeGrand and the man himself, Jimmy V, is truly amazing and I am really grateful and humbled.”
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees also weighed in, calling Robertson "an inspirational young man." Brees said, "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."
Added Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: "As a coach, I am sure that Coach Valvano would love the energy and enthusiasm Jarrius brings to each day. He would be proud to know that his mission of never giving up has been embraced by a young man who represents all the qualities that he looked for in a person. Jarrius is a perfect torch bearer for the Jimmy V Perseverance Award as his story and mission of ‘It takes lives to save lives’ resonates and touches everyone on so many different levels."
The 25th annual ESPY Awards, which celebrate the best moments from the year in sports, will air live from the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.