Former Chicago Bear star building boat to row across Lake Michigan for sick kids

CHICAGO — Former Chicago Bears star Charles “Peanut” Tillman is taking on a new challenge and attempting to conquer a life-long fear — and it’s all for a good cause.

“I enjoyed my moments when I was playing,” Tillman said.  “I’m enjoying life now. I’m doing what I love. I’m building a boat.  I’m living life. I’m living my best life, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

Tillman, who was an all-pro cornerback for the Bears and has since retired, is building a boat with his friend Jacob Beckley. Both men lead foundations that help sick children and their families.

The plan is for the two of them to build the boat then row across Lake Michigan this summer.

The goal is to raise money so their foundations can help more people.

The grueling journey will cross 65 miles from Saint Joseph, Michigan to Chicago and will take more than 20 hours.

There’s also a little issue for Tillman. He’s afraid of the water

Tillman said the physical and mental challenges are nothing compared to what sick children deal with.

“If that means getting in a boat, learning how to row and doing it for 20-plus hours straight, for kids with cancer, kids with heart transplants, kids with any type of sickness or illness, I think it’s worth it. I think it’s doable,” Tillman said.

The “Row4Kids” will likely take place in late August or early September, depending on the weather forecast. In the meantime, Tillman and Beckley are looking for corporate sponsors and individual donations.

More information at Row4Kids and The Beckley Foundation.

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