Former Glenville stars Ted Ginn Jr. and Donte Whitner are in New Orleans, ready to give it all for their former coach, who is surviving pancreatic cancer.
In late August, just before the start of the high school football season, Ginn Sr., who has transformed the lives of hundreds of inner-city kids at Glenville and Ginn Academy for underprivileged boys, was rushed to University Hospitals for emergency hernia surgery. During post-operative exams, his surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Hardacre, discovered a tumor on Ginn's pancreas that was producing excess insulin.
Ginn, 57, quietly stepped away from the Glenville sideline to begin a journey of surgeries and recovery that has left him 55 pounds lighter and more grateful than ever to be alive. Hardacre removed the tumor in mid-October, but Ginn suffered a complication that required a follow-up surgery. Subsequently, he developed fluid in his lungs and had to undergo another procedure.
All told, he spent about 60 days in the hospital and was released just after Christmas.
Both are dedicating the Super Bowl to Ginn Sr., which is good, because the old coach wants nothing more than for them to close the deal.