Luck’s first local sponsorship starts with one short pass—and one brave kid

November 1, 2012
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It was just a pass. Something that Andrew Luck had done a million times.

But this pass during the Indianapolis Colts Fan Fest at Lucas Oil Stadium last August was different.

Luck’s toss of a few yards to 8-year-old Holden Harless, a Riley Hospital for Children spinal cord patient, made a special connection.

“To see the fight that he goes through and his struggle and his positive attitude was very inspirational,” Luck told IBJ this week. “I will never forget that first encounter.”

By now, most know that Luck, the Colts rookie quarterback, has signed his first significant local commercial partnership with Riley. But few know the back story.

Luck told IBJ that he was introduced to Riley through his meeting with Harless, who was just 2 when a tumor was found on his spinal cord. Holden’s family said the setback hasn’t dampened his spirit. The work that Riley had done for young Harless made Luck interested in making a connection with Riley as well as the Indiana youngster.

“That’s the first time I heard of Riley Hospital,” Luck said of his meeting with Harless.

The result of that meeting between Luck and Harless is a four-year pact between the Colts quarterback and Riley.

Luck and Riley officials said the partnership is aimed at helping improve the health and wellness of area children. The Riley/Luck “Change the Play” initiative will include programs such as sports performance camps, educational tools for kids and Luck speaking engagements. Already, Luck has made several appearances at Riley to visit one-on-one with patients.

“We think this relationship has tremendous potential to grow,” Riley CEO Jeff Sperring said. “I hope this partnership extends well beyond his playing days.”

There’s already talk of Luck becoming involved in various Riley programs. There’s even discussion that the Stanford University architecture major could be involved in helping design some of the expansions the hospital is undergoing, Sperring added.

Luck said he was attracted to the deal in part because it’s a far-reaching, statewide initiative.

Sperring hopes the deal is the start of a lifelong relationship with Luck.

It started with one kid. And one pass.


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  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

  2. Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.

  3. I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.

  4. JK - I meant that the results don't ring true. I also questioned the 10-year-old study because so much in the "health care system" has changed since the study was made. Moreover, it was hard to get to any overall conclusion or observation with the article. But....don't be defensive given my comments; I still think you do the best job of any journalist in the area shedding light and insight on important health care issues.

  5. Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.