Save Jon Blog


Mike Ditka Battles Disease That Took Walter Payton

SAVE JON / 17.2015 / Leave comments

Mike Ditka and SAVE JONRecently we talked about how expert teamwork running against the clock has led to stunning scientific achievements in the past, such as the moon landings and the polio vaccine. PSC research requires this kind of game-changing team-driven offensive if a cure is to be found within the lifetime of current patients. This is why we have built a team-based, coordinated, and time-sensitive strategy for finding a PSC cure. Few people understand more about the value of strategic coordination than football coaches, and one former football coach is lending his might to our offensive. That person is Pro Football Hall of Famer, legendary Chicago Bears Coach, native Pittsburgher, and SAVE JON Board member, Iron Mike Ditka. Check out our latest video starring Iron Mike Ditka below.

Mike Ditka has a personal rivalry with PSC. It took his dear friend and Bears star running back Walter Payton. It has been over 15 years since Walter Payton passed away due to bile duct cancer – a complication of PSC – and sadly, not much has changed for patients. Today, prognosis and treatment is much the same as it was for Payton when he was diagnosed. Mike Ditka agrees with us that this is simply unacceptable. We should be tackling the disease with the same team-oriented attitude and dedication that Payton displayed on the field. How many more Walter Paytons have to die before we accomplish our goal of developing a cure?

In football, everyone has a role to play in getting to the goal line.  Making forward progress in our mission to cure PSC is no different. We need talented players working together to make those critical first downs, to force turnovers, to move the ball down the field.  We need coaches to coordinate their efforts and help call the plays. We need sponsors to supply the tools and resources that give players that game-changing edge. We need the fans in the stands spurring the team to greater heights with the energy they bring to the game.

We are so pleased to have Coach Ditka on our team, pushing everyone to stay in the game and keep their eye on the ball. 

It’s time to get in the game, people. We need your help to cross this goal line.


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