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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Charles Tillman's story

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Saturday is the NFL's official roster cutdown day. But the best story might be that of Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, who revealed Friday that his personal absences from training camp this summer were due to the serious heart condition of his six-month-old daughter, Tiana.

As David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes, Tiana Tillman was rushed to a Chicago-area hospital May 20 because of an enlarged heart. She was kept alive with a device known as a Berlin Heart -- an external pump that maintains blood flow in cases of a damaged heart -- until finally receiving a heart transplant July 31.

Tiana must remain on medication for the rest of her life, but Tillman said: "She'll be a normal kid. She can ride a bike, play little league soccer if she wants to. I'm optimistic. This has made us stronger as a family."

At a news conference Friday, Tillman urged citizens to register as an organ donor. Sounds like a noble cause to us.

Moving back on the field in the NFC North: