A running back for the Chicago Bears, Walter Payton was one of the National Football League's most productive players. During his 13-year football career, he set numerous records, and in 1993 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1999, Walter passed away from a rare form of bile duct cancer. Dr. Oz talks to Walter's wife, Connie, about Walter's battle, the work of the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation and the importance of organ donation.
Shortly after he was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease, Walter was put on the liver transplant list. Connie says Walter spent the last months of his life speaking out in support of organ transplants and encouraging donations. "I think it would have been easy for most people to just say, 'Forget it, I'm going to give up,'" Connie says. "Especially, the type that Walter had—he had a very aggressive cancer and it just kind of took over right away—but he fought it with every ounce of energy he had in him."
Connie says Walter's legacy lives on through their charity foundation, the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to helping neglected, abused and underprivileged children; every Christmas, the foundation collects toys and gifts to distribute to needy children. Additionally, Walter and Connie's daughter, Brittney, founded Youth for Life: Remembering Walter Payton, a nonprofit campaign committed to educating teens about the importance of organ donation.