ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — News 4 is teaming up with 97 Rock to highlight Bills fans who are taking their passion for the game off the field.
We’re highlighting a group of Bills fans living with disabilities that are helping fellow Bills Mafia members facing the same ailments.
Bills RX got attention online with its first campaign and a Facebook video.
To a Bills fan named Henry, Robert Gardinier, one of the founders of Bills RX, said “We wanted to give you a little something to show you, basically, you’re not fighting this alone.”
Henry was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
“We were able to raise enough funds to get him two tickets to the game, anything he wanted out of the Bills store,” Gardinier said. “Go ahead and pick what you want. He picked a Josh Allen jersey, of course.”
Also included — a tailgate before the game and spending money for food and drinks.
“He has such a caring heart, you know?” Gardinier said. “He’s going through such a hard time right now. Let’s give him a day he can enjoy, remember and just temporarily forget about the leukemia.”
That’s the mission of Bills RX — helping members of the Bills Mafia who are sick or struggling.
Gardinier is facing his own health battle — stage five kidney failure.
Someone gave him handicapped tickets to a Bills game last year, and it helped put the wheels in motion.
“I realized what kind of excitement I had by being able to attend the game, and it let me forget about everything that’s going on in my own life,” Gardinier said. “And now, I’m glad to try to do that for others.”
“I have my ailments, which are…severe, you know. My difficulties and my bad days, but I look at the blessings I’ve had.”
The Bills have noticed his journey and his work. Gardinier received a personal message from Mike Love and Harrison Phillips.
“Just know that Mike and I are in your corner,” Phillips said.
The players are part of what inspire Gardinier to take his love for the team beyond the field.
“There’s so many times I’ve seen different Bills players out at different charity events and stuff like that, and that’s what our guys are about,” Gardinier said. “That’s what this city is about, what the community is about. You know no matter where Bills Mafia is around the country, our players are there to support them, just like we’re there to support the players.”
Gardinier says Bills RX is just a part of the bigger picture.
“So many times, all you hear about is the people breaking tables, and yeah, that’s exciting, but there’s a lot more to it than just breaking tables,” he says. “When things need to get done, Bills Mafia comes together and we support our family, because that’s what it is — a big Bills family.”
Gardinier says one of his goals is to send a sick Mafia member or family that’s struggling to a Bills game during every game next season.
You can get involved by checking out the Facebook group Bills RX.
If you know a Bills fan who is doing good with their passion for the team, send an email to WakeUp@wivb.com.