Here’s my story…


Throughout my career in the NFL, I’ve realized there’s more to life than first downs and touchdowns. I’ve learned that the real-life first downs are helping others, and the real touchdowns, well, they’re saving lives.


When I was 16 years old, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I witnessed firsthand one of life’s most courageous stories.  While she was undergoing chemotherapy and becoming more and more emotionally and physically drained, my mom would throw on a blonde wig under her Wayne Hills baseball hat and sit in the stands for every high school football game.


Today, I can still look up in the stands and find my mom sitting there, only this time healthy, with her real blonde hair under an NFL hat.  Elated is an understatement.  There are no words that could adequately express my thanks for her full recovery and health.


Although there are no words, there is action.  That’s why I established Receptions for Research.


If you happen to see me on TV one Sunday, rest assured that I’m making first downs and scoring touchdowns to give your loved one a second chance in life.


This touchdown’s for you!

Greg Olsen
Receptions for Research Founder and NFL Tight End


Benefitting Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

In January 2012, Greg and Kara found out they were unexpectedly expecting.  Happiness filled their hearts.  Then, in February they learned Kara was carrying not one, but two bundles of joy and they were ecstatic.


That April however, they received news that rocked them and their families to the core.  One of the babies, they discovered during the 20-week ultrasound, would be perfectly healthy; the other would be born with a severe congenital heart defect.

Kara and Greg soon faced all the emotion, challenges and decisions that are known only by parents of severely sick children. They instantly decided that they were going to give the baby the best chance at life, providing him access to the best doctors with state-of-the art treatment techniques and technology.  Together with Levine Children’s Hospital, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, they made that happen.


This past October, Kara and Greg welcomed T.J. and his sister, Talbot, into the world. Talbot, bundled in pink, left the hospital with her parents just like most newborns do. However, T.J. remained at Levine’s for a little extra love and care.  His little body underwent open heart surgery just in his first few days of life.  The doctors advised the family to expect good days and not-so-good days.  The Olsen family understands though that T.J.’s first few years of life may be tougher than planned, but they’ll remain strong together.


Because so much of their lives revolve around football, the Olsen Family is calling this phase “T.J.’s ‘Heart’est’ Yard.”  They have a lot to share about hypoplastic left heart syndrome.  They are also interested in keeping you the fans updated on T.J.’s condition, and about fun things, like how T.J. got his name.

 Receptions for Research Family Den Sponsorship at Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's


In 2009, Greg Olsen established “Receptions for Research” The Greg Olsen Foundation to provide hospitals, doctors, and researchers the necessary resources to save those affected with various types of debilitating diseases.

The Foundation collaborates and partners with other organizations like Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana (RMHC-CNI) so a cure for these diseases can be found.


“Receptions for Research” is currently sponsoring a Family Den in our Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s. RMHC-CNI couldn’t be more thankful for Greg’s support and dedication in helping us to provide care and comfort to so many families in need.


In June 2012, RMHC-CNI was very lucky to have Greg & his family stop by our Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s along with his friends from Joe’s on Weed Street.  Greg kindly organized a delicious southern-style dinner provided by Joe’s on Weed Street for all of our families to enjoy. Greg and his family also toured the House (which had just celebrated its Grand Opening) and were able to see the “Receptions for Research” Family Den.


TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson Worldwide in partnership with Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and his foundation Receptions for Research, hosted their 11th Annual Kicks for a Cure, a charity kickball tournament.


Kicks for a Cure is the world’s largest charity kickball tournament.  The event is held annually each summer, typically in June, in Chicago’s Grant Park and hosts over 1,200 people.  Kickball teams compete and have fun in an effort to raise money for cancer research.  All proceeds for this event go to Receptions for Research – The Greg Olsen Foundation.


Check back to see when next year’s event will take in Chicago’s Grant Park!