Dec 30, 2009, 11:00 AM EDT
First of all, the headline does not refer to the guy in the picture here. Although if he were to bite you, I would consider rabies shots. But rather it refers to Jim Becker, 79, who has been koo-koo for the Packers since Gone With the Wind was first released in theaters. In that time he’s attended 206 home games — missing only three — and in the 1950s actually began selling his own blood in order to afford tickets. And that’s where the saving his life part comes in.
After 23 years of selling blood quarterly, a routine physical revealed that Becker had a rare and fatal disorder that causes excess iron in his blood — the same disease that killed his father at age 43.
Since Becker, now 79, didn’t know he had the same disorder, he had no idea he had been keeping the disease from shutting down his vital organs by having blood drawn regularly.
“There’s no cure for it,” Becker told WDJT. “They said the only way to lessen it was to give blood, because the blood draws the iron out of the system.”
Becker has been nominated for the Packers Fan Hall of Fame, voting for which began on Sunday. The guy in the picture? Already a member of the Arby’s Hall of Fame.
All of Becker’s time has not been devoted to the Packers; after all, he has 11 kids.
Jim still continues to give blood to stay healthy, now that his season tickets have been passed on to several of his 11 children — who were all infected with his same love of the Packers, except one daughter.
“But her daugther is a die-hard fan and named her son Vincent after Vince Lombardi,” laughed Jim, adding that all 25 grandkids are also Packers fans except one, a grandson who somehow became a Bears fan.
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