Life is pretty good these days for David Garrard.
He’s the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 7-7 team with playoff aspirations that will visit the Patriots on Sunday.
Five years ago, though, that was hardly a sure thing.
In 2004, Garrard was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a painful inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. He bounced back, but only after undergoing surgery to remove a 12-inch section of his intestines.
He said his experience — including his current bimonthly medical treatments — have inspired him to be a role model to young people with the same disease.
“I get letters all the time from kids, adults, everybody,” Garrard said. “Some of them can’t believe I’m able to be out there playing in the NFL and I have the same disease they have. It’s hard for them to believe, but it does give them hope.”
And cash. A Philadelphia company is donating $10,000 to Crohn’s research for each Garrard touchdown this year.