Any game in which a team gains 247 yards by rushing the ball, while allowing its quarterback to be sacked just once, is a game an ex-offensive lineman can appreciate. But Joe Andruzzi probably appreciated the Patriots' 52-point explosion on Sunday in Buffalo even more than most.
Surely the former New England blocker had to be impressed by seeing his old team run for four touchdowns in a game for the first time in almost 29 years -- though more important for him and his post-football mission were the three scores the Pats posted through the air. This season for every touchdown pass Tom Brady throws, National Grid will donate $700 to the Joe Andruzzi Foundation's Patient Touchdown Program, so when Brandon Lloyd crashed down in the end zone it meant that $2,100 had been raised in barely 19 minutes of football at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
“Throughout my football career, my job was to help move the team forward, yard by yard, down the field. Now, we use that same strategy to make an impact in the lives of people fighting cancer, one family at a time,” said Andruzzi, the three-time Super Bowl champion who co-founded the Joe Andruzzi Foundation after recovering from non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s Lymphoma four years ago. “We’re so grateful to Tom, National Grid, and CBS Radio for supporting our patients and families during treatment. We know every bit of assistance makes a difference, and we’re happy this spectacular team will help more families through this fun campaign.”
The program beginning in Week 3, the total contribution is now $2,800 -- and because it's tied to Brady in particular, that total is almost as likely to rise every week as it would be with any thrower in football history. In beating the Bills, the quarterback made it 36 consecutive regular-season games in which he's thrown at least one touchdown, which is nearly twice the previous team record (he owned that, too), and which is tied with Brett Favre for the NFL's third-longest streak ever. Only Johnny Unitas and Drew Brees, at 47 apiece, have had longer runs, which is great news for Andruzzi and his Foundation's efforts to assist those fighting cancer.
One-hundred percent of the money donated by National Grid for every touchdown pass will help patients and their families cover the cost of everyday household expenses – including rent and mortgages, power bills, car payments and groceries – courtesy of a one-time, $700 grant. The program is specifically designed for families who contact the Foundation directly for assistance, rather than through a JAF-affiliated cancer institution, and with National Grid also promising to match public donations dollar-for-dollar up to $75,000, the "Touchdowns by Tom” campaign aims to help more than 100 families this fall.
"Joe and I joined the Patriots around the same time, and he spent many seasons protecting me as we earned three Super Bowl rings together," Brady said in a statement. “Now I have the chance to help Joe protect patients and families from the stress of financial burdens during cancer treatment. This was a no-brainer for me."
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