IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) A Hawkeye football star who made it big in the NFL is tackling a new challenge at the University of Iowa. Chad Greenway opened one of his "Chad's lockers" at the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital.
While he was still playing with the Minnesota Vikings, Former Hawkeye linebacker Chad Greenway was already looking past his Pro Bowl career. That's when he started his "Lead the Way" foundation.
"Having the platform of the NFL and being able to use that just for the greater good kind of became this thing that we just love making an impact in different ways," said Greenway.
One channel for that mission is "Chad's Locker." This one, now at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital includes games, movies and more to keep patients and their families entertained and distracted.
"You know you're not going to make a huge impact medically but if you just make a small impact on the community as a distraction or helping these folks who have little kids when their youngest kids are in the hospital, it helps," said Greenway. "Like not have to be listening to a doctor when you're trying to calm down your three year old who can be distracted by an iPad or something"
Five-month-old Archer Ballard just had his second open-hear surgery here this week. Now, as he recovers, his family knows the value this cart will have for them.
"This will be really big for them to be here with us but not have to sit quiet in the hospital and jus thave something to keep them occupied and fun," said Archer's mom, Nicole Ballard.
This is the eighth locker Greenway has opened, but this one, sitting next to where he once played, has extra meaning.
"To be able to do it in Iowa City where my wife and I went to college as undergrads; to come back and be able to provide this for the hospital that's gotten so much notariety with the wave...When we get to come back and spend some time, it's always a homecoming for us," said Greenway. "We love coming back. It's sort of our home base we feel good here."
It's giving a new reason for fans to cheer for this former Hawkeye.
"I was always a cyclone fan, always a UNI fan and I've definitely switched teams," said Nicole Knapp. "I'm still a Panther fan but the University of Iowa has really definitely changed my whole opinion of this entire town and it's amazing.