Retired Bears Player Charles Tillman Rows Across Lake Michigan to Benefit Child Cancer Patients - NBC Chicago

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Retired Bears Player Charles Tillman Rows Across Lake Michigan to Benefit Child Cancer Patients

Tillman and a philanthropist rowed 65-non stop miles

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    Charles Tillman Rows Across Lake Michigan to Help Kids With Cancer

    Retired Bears Player Charles Tillman rowed across Lake Michigan to benefit child cancer patients. NBC 5's Natalie Martinez reports.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 2, 2019)

    Retired Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman completed a grueling task on Monday with one reason in mind: to help kids with cancer.

    Tillman, along with philanthropist Jacob Beckley, rowed 65 non-stop miles across Lake Michigan, from Chicago to St. Joseph, Mich., to benefit the organization "Row4Kids."

    More than $97,000 were raised for "Row4Kids," which helps child cancer patients and their families. As Tillman put it, the trip was the equivalent of 1,144 football fields.

    The retired Bears cornerback said that when things got rough, he thought about the reason he took the challenge on.

    "The names on the front of the boat, that's why. I think that's why I got emotional," Tillman said after completing the task. "I've been up 36 hours. I'm a little delusional.”

    Tillman's Cornerstone Foundation, along with Beckley's foundation, have assisted multiple children and their families.

    Lisa Drost, whose 13-year-old daughter, Kate, has cancer, said she's thankful for the help.

    "Watching him finish his journey was like watching my daughter's journey to get where she is now," Drost said.

    Tillman's journey for critically ill children was highlighted when his daughter, Tiana, received a new heart 11 years ago.

    At the end of the grueling mission, and after months of training, cramps and blisters, Tillman said he was satisfied.

    "It was a great challenge," he said. "I don't think I'll do it again. One and done."

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