LOS ANGELES -- Jarrious "JJ" Robertson has been a household name in New Orleans for years, but tonight he went worldwide.
Jarrius was honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles Wednesday night. Jarrius, a New Orleans native, is being recognized for his work with the Jarrius "JJ" Robertson Fund, which raises money to help families with the expense of pediatric liver transplants.
Jarrius was born with a liver disease and had his first transplant when he was just 1-year-old. He spent the next year of his life in a coma, but kept fighting. On April 30, nearly 15 years later, he found a liver donor and underwent a successful transplant.
He's had the support of the New Orleans Saints for hte last two years and can often be seen on the sidelines with the team during games and practices. He's also made trips to the NBA All-Star game and WWE Wrestling events.
Tonight, Jarrius used his spotlight to encourage more people to sign up to be an organ donor part of his "It Takes Lives to Save Lives" campaign. He also had a message for anyone else fighting against the odds.
"Don't ever give up. Don't ever give up. Those words by Jimmy V, I have been living by my entire life," Jarrius said. "The past few years have been a blessing for me and my family. I have been doing things I never thought I could do before and earning the Jimmy V award tonight is amazing."
Saints Owner Tom Benson pledged $25,000 to help the Robertson family with their medical bills. The NFL matched that pledge, giving Robertson $50,000 total.
A GoFundMe Page for Jarrius' medical expenses can be found here.
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