Former Michigan football greats raise nearly $1.5 million (and counting) for Mott Children's Hospital
Jeffrey Smith | AnnArbor.com
When Dave Brandon's twin sons were born 32 years ago at a community hospital, they were afflicted with a rare blood disease that immediately threatened their young lives.
The Michigan athletic director can still recall the scene.
"The first thing I heard the doctor say when they were born, when he realized the problem, was, 'We gotta get these kids to Mott,'" Brandon said. "Which I think says it all, because Mott is where you take these incredibly complicated, difficult problems that, frankly, a lot of other hospitals can't handle, and there are miracle workers there who know what to do.
"In our case, the resident who met them when they arrived had just finished a research study -- a multi-year study -- on the very rare problem that these identical twins were born with. He knew exactly what to do and saved their lives."
Brandon was referring to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, the beneficiary of an event this weekend put on by former Michigan football stars Charles Woodson, Steve Hutchinson and Brian Griese.
As of Sunday morning, the event had raised about $1.45 million for the hospital. That includes Friday's radiothon put on by local radio station WTKA-AM (1050) and a gala dinner and auction Saturday night at Al Glick Fieldhouse.
The figure does not reflect proceeds raised at a golf outing Sunday afternoon, where scores of former players showed up from around the country in support of the hospital. That includes A-listers such as LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote, Glen Steele, Jake Long, Jeff Backus, Steve Breaston and more.
Coach Brady Hoke and former coaches Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr also made appearances. Brandon was there, as well.
Final tallies for their efforts will be announced in the coming days. Last year's event raised about $1.9 million.
Brandon and his wife, Jan, have done their part as well. In 2006, they donated $4 million to The Michigan Difference, with $2 million of that earmarked for the construction of the Nick and Chris Brandon Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
The funds help further Mott's impact on the community, which has been far-reaching.
"One of (the sons) blessed us with our second grandchild a few months ago," Brandon said. "He wouldn't be around today if it wasn't for the folks at Mott, and that's something you don't forget."