8 years ago on New Year’s Eve, I watched my first bowl game from the University of Washington Medical Center, only 11 days after my transplant surgery. I remember seeing our jerseys and feeling heartbroken that I wasn’t healthy enough to be at my school, but I knew it was a process. I saw myself there that day, and I felt ready to crush anything in my way to come back.
We kicked off a new era of Husky football with a win. That night, I was discharged from the hospital to ring in the new year at home with my family and my new liver.
No better way to start my 2011. I felt charged and ready to win my battle. As I passed Husky Stadium on my way home on NYE, it gave me chills. I felt the energy fire up the motivation in my body. I knew I would be back and it was just a matter of time.
The 2010 Holiday Bowl was the first of what turned out to be 8 straight bowl game appearances for UW. Just as the Huskies were rebuilding the program back up, I was starting my new life, free of liver disease. I was reborn on UW soil with a new body that bleeds purple and gold. As I rehabilitated and learned to live with my new body, my only motivation was to be back at campus watching my Dawgs play.
Taking a look back at the last 8 years, I have been blessed with an amazing UW family. Not only did this school save my life, but it gave me the love and energy to fight through my challenges. I met lifelong friends and made unbreakable bonds.
Now, 8 years later I rang in 2019 here in my new city as a UW alum watching my Dawgs take on Ohio State in the first Rose Bowl of my life. A dream come true.
Every day is a battle and sometimes all the odds are against you. As an underdog, the only way out is to embody the attitude and commitment of a champion. From an 0-12 record to the Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl, we refused to give up and we believed in ourselves when nobody else did. Let Purple Reign!