Greg Olsen turns political to improve healthcare for newborns

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Carolina Panthers' TE Greg Olsen is looking to make positive changes in North Carolina for newborns.

The Panthers 2012 season featured more downs than ups, but one overwhelming off-field triumph was the survival of Greg Olsen's newborn son. Diagnosed with hypo plastic left heart syndrome, T.J. Olsen had a difficult road into the world, undergoing heart surgery the day after he was born. Now his father is appealing to lawmakers to help prevent future cases like his son's.

While the rest of the NFL world has its eyes focused on the scouting combine, and pre-draft process -- Olsen went to Raleigh to speak to the state house of representatives. In a report by WCNC, he's asking law makers to pass a bill making pulse oximetry tests mandatory for newborns.

According to the CDC pulse oximetry testing costs as little as $5-10 per child, and takes approximately five minutes to administer. It seems like a no-brainer, and several states have already followed recommendations to make the screening mandatory. Provided it passes vote on the floor, the bill will pass to Governor McCrory.

Greg and Kara Olsen's struggles in 2012 hit close to home, and caused Jerry Richardson to do everything in his power to help their family. Embracing the community as he has, it's nice to see a player use his clout to try and make positive changes, and help other families.

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