Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, a native of Nigeria, read a newspaper story about a 4-year-old Nigerian girl who was scheduled to have heart surgery in Austin, Texas.
The only catch? Heart Gift, the American organization paying for her surgery, could not foot the bill for the girl’s travel expenses. Ogunleye, along with teammate Israel Idonije, who were both in Nigeria recently on a goodwill trip, agreed to pay for airline tickets for the girl and her mother, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“We both wanted to be a part of helping them,” Ogunleye said. “We checked out the organization [in Texas] to make sure it was legit and just took one look at her little girl and it was a no-brainer. We did what anybody in our position would do.”
Ogunleye plans to visit the girl in Austin after her surgery.