Saturday, May 28, 2016

Eric Griggs: Notre Dame Man and “Every man’s doctor”

EricGriggsNotre Dame Man and “Every man’s doctor” … Eric Griggs is making a difference

Just two short years ago Fit4Life Executive Board Member and Wellness Champion Dr. Eric Griggs launched the "Step Away" Prostate and Colon Cancer Kick-Off Event in the city of New Orleans.

“‘Step Away’ was a city-wide health initiative kick-off which emphasized the importance of screenings in partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS).” Doc Griggs is a spokesperson for the ACS and a health and wellness ambassador for the city of New Orleans.

This particular event is just one of many events sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Fit NOLA  and 100 Black Men that "Doc Griggs" works on. They are helping to implement a national initiative to motivate people to go and have health screenings done. In the African-American community, the type of prostate cancer that they are predominately being diagnosed with is not only aggressive but often times already in the late stages by the time it is diagnosed. If we can get people to go have screenings done, we can catch cancer before it is in the advanced stages.

“What we’re doing is an ‘underwear awareness’ initiative. We are educating people about prostate exams and colonoscopies. Because most men view this as a ‘traumatic’ event they won’t even go and get screened, let alone have these discussions with their doctor. We’re trying to educate people that there are other types of screenings that are less invasive than the standard prostate exam and colonoscopy. They can have a FITT test done or have a stool occult blood sample tested to determine whether a more invasive test is even needed.”

colon cancer awareness“The good news is having a colonoscopy done is not only a screening but it can be diagnostic as well. If a polyp is found they can remove it right then and there. A polyp typically takes up to 10 years to become a cancerous tumor. This is why you are supposed to have a screening done every 10 years. If they do find a polyp, it is recommended that you come back every 5 years to help monitor any recurrences.”

“The main purpose of these type of events is to heighten awareness.”

“The key to good health is prevention and that starts with conversations. The key to disease prevention is to be healthy.”

“Our three key recommendations are:

Get checked.

Get fit.

Get moving!”

“When we get together with our family we talk about work, sports, politics … basically everything but our health and family history. We need to talk to our family members about our family history. Health prevention and disease diagnosis comes out of the roots of your tree. And just because you are predisposed to something does not mean it is going to happen. There are things you can do to take control of your health and to help prevent it from coming to fruition.”

“I tell my patients to go to the doctor right before the football season every year so they have a benchmark. ‘You know your favorite team is going to give you a heart attack every year so you might as well be prepared.’” (laughs)

“Get fit and get healthy.”

“You do this by eating well and coloring your plate. I don’t believe in diets. I believe diets die. Everyone I know who has been on a diet has failed. You may lose 20 pounds, but then you gain back 40. Instead of going on a 'diet,' control your portion sizes and eat in moderation.”

“Get moving.”

“Find something you like to do. Anything really … garden, ride your bike, run, dance, get out the hula hoop … just get moving. One minute of dancing in front of the mirror in the morning burns 50-100 calories. All of these things fall into the realm of wellness.”

“On January 21st of this year, one of my best friends died of colon cancer at the age of 46. He was a healthy guy. We would work out together all the time. One day he complained of a pulling sensation in his lower abdomen and we just assumed that he had just pulled something. When he went to the doctor to get it checked out they found a grapefruit sized tumor in his abdomen. He had never had a colonoscopy and he had no family history.”

“If you have a family history of lower body cancers, such as ovarian or kidney, you are at a higher risk level for colon and prostate cancer.”

“His passing is part of what is fueling my fervor to get this movement going. Over the course of the next year we are going to do a different screening in each district of New Orleans. We are going to create awareness and then get people to screenings.”

Doc Griggs getting the city of New Orleans up and dancing!“Everyone needs to think about what they are putting into their bodies … and go to the doctor. At every event I give out my number. If you have a health question, call me! If you are afraid to go to the doctor and you want someone to go with you to ask the right questions, call me! I want to take away the fear of the unknown.”

“Our ultimate goal is to track how many people go to the doctor and get screened, roll these initiatives out in other cities and to get a million people screened nationwide.”

“If you keep it fun you will keep people moving because it no longer feels like 'work.' It’s so much easier to hold someone’s attention when you have them laughing and smiling.”

“I’m not a scary doctor … I’m just a regular dude.”

Besides being a "regular dude," Doc Griggs specializes in Community Medicine. What is a Community Medicine specialist you ask?

 A "Community Medicine specialist in other hand is designated to handle research in healthcare, health need of communities, plan and administer research for changing need and prospective community, city, province and the nation...."

"The demand of evolving communities necessitates this reform in medicine to not only concern about individual health; but to expand its mission for the entire community such as a neighborhood, a city, a region or entire country."

"The importance of Community Medicine has been very well recognized all over the world both industrial and developing nation by including community in the discipline of medicine. The scope of medical care is expanded to other disciplines such as economic, housing, city planning, nutrition and communication."

“I love the fact that the American Cancer Society celebrates birthdays. They celebrate the fact that you made it to another year. That’s an easy sell. That is not the sell that’s being done in most doctor offices.”

“Your doctor is like the coach in the booth above the game, and you are the player on the field. You might not understand the play he’s calling or why he’s calling it, but it’s your job to execute the play.”
“I didn’t want to go into medicine. I actually tried to get out. My mom had a health issue that I couldn’t (and still can’t) help. My dad died in hospice, in front of my entire family, holding my hand and I thought ‘to hell with this. I do not want to do this anymore.’”

“I started teaching, rehabbing houses, anything but medicine.”

“My wife and I had a med spa and a family practice but all I was doing was office support & maintenance.”

“I was asked to go on a radio show and talk about the med spa and the radio host kept calling me Dr. Griggs. Then people started calling in to the show with medical questions and asking me for advice and the radio host ended the show with, ‘and next week we will be back with more medical advice on the Dr. Griggs Medical show,’ and I was kicking him under the table. No, no, no!”

“He said to me, ‘just come back and talk more about the medical spa’ … and that turned into me having my own radio show. “

“I love it. I’m reaching more people. It’s what I wanted to do all along because through my outreach people are actually listening to me. You can try to do what you want but you can’t run away from what God wants you to do.”

“My marketing/brand manager is a former football player from Tulane University. He asked me if I could get some other Notre Dame players behind my initiative. The next day I called him and said … ‘so far I’ve got Irv Smith, Steve Pope and Oscar McBride.’ In disbelief he said, ‘are you guys really that tight?’ Why yes, yes we are that tight. It is the strength of the Notre Dame family.”

Do you want to learn more about Doc Griggs and his health and wellness movement? Check out his web site:

Dr. Eric Griggs graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1992 (and was a walk-on with the Fighting Irish football team) and Tulane University School of Medicine in 1996. Dr. Griggs is a native of Winston Salem, North Carolina and currently lives in New Orleans since completing medical school. Today, he is the CEO of RMDS Aesthetics & Med Spa and Research MDs Family Practice and Clinical Research Center in Mid-City New Orleans. Dr. Griggs is also the weekly Health Educator for the local FOX affiliate's "Morning Edition" in New Orleans, the host of “The Doctor Griggs” Radio show on WBOK 1230 AM and an internet show ," Health Talk with Doc Griggs" on New Orleans Talk Network (NOTN) -, both focusing on health, wellness and community. Dr. Griggs is active in the New Orleans community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Region of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Boys & Girls Clubs NFL-YET Center in New Orleans and Executive Board Member on Oscar McBride’s Fit 4 Life Youth Foundation. Dr. Griggs also co-founded and directs the Broadmoor Basketball Association, a basketball program for at-risk youth. He has made it his life work to educate the community. Dr. Griggs participates in several community engagement events, activities and speaks on various subjects such as preventative medicine and life skills.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Notre Dame Football Creates Holiday Cheer

Being a student-athlete at Notre Dame is more than a full-time job. Beyond time spent learning in the classroom and studying outside of the classroom, their time is filled with meetings, film study, weight room time, training table and practice. In addition to all of that, somehow, Our Lady's student-athletes also find time to give back to the local community.

This past Sunday the Notre Dame football team took 110 LaVille kids-in-need on a shopping trip to Meijer courtesy of the Kelly Cares Foundation.

"They love doing this more than you can imagine," said Notre Dame football head coach Brian Kelly. "They love getting out with the kids and spending time with them."

"I really enjoy the one-on-one and seeing the kids and the impact and seeing the smiles," says Coach Kelly's wife, Paqui Kelly. "It's the smiles and the interaction that really solidifies all your hard work."

via @NDPlayerDev: Shop with a Player! Special thanks to 
@KellyCares, @meijer, Royal Excusion, and @papa_vinos ! #IrishAroundTheBen

This year's shopping spree was sponsored by the Kelly Cares Foundation for the fourth year, and the players enjoy it just as much as the kids do.

"It's a blast for us," says Irish captain and defensive back Matthias Farley. "I think it's a lot of fun for them too. Coming out here and obviously Charles is pretty excited about the stuff he got today so it's awesome being a part of it."

Each child was given a $100 gift card to make their purchases. For the children who went a bit over their budget, Meijer covered the difference.

via @NDPlayerDev: Shop with a Player in full effect! Some happy kids Christmas shopping with our players! #IrishAroundtheBend 

"We had a great time," says Prosise. "She got to get some things for her family and for herself. Got some footballs and soccer balls to play outside so she got some nice things."

Wise beyond his years, Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire put the whole experience into perspective.

"Being that we don't get a chance to go home for the holidays as much as we want to," Zaire began to say.

"Oh that's sad," said in his new friend Harley.

"Yeah. we get to extend our Notre Dame family to everyone else so it's a good chance to come out and share that with the people in the community and with each other so it's a good feeling," Zaire said.

"At least you get to spend Christmas with some friends at school," Harley said.

"Friends at school and I get my friend Harley here too," said Zaire.

Following the afternoon of shopping, the players and kids were treated to lunch at Papa Vino's.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Remember When?

Photo by: Lynne Gilbert

Well hello there! It's been a while since I've been here. I spend most of my time over at Her Loyal Sons talking football, so please come visit me over there and say "Hi!"

I've also been pretty consumed lately with writing the second volume of "Echoes From the End Zone: The Men We Became" which is due out in August of 2016. I've gathered 28 more stories about former Notre Dame football players and where their lives have taken them after football (including Terry Hanratty, John Huarte and Ken MacAfee) so please stay tuned!

But I'm not quite ready to get rid of ole' Bridget's just yet ... so hang tight. And as Arnold says, "I'll be back!"


Monday, March 9, 2015

Vote to Help the Ara Parseghian Foundation

Marcia, Christa and Michael Parseghian
It's NCAA Tourney Time and who doesn't love a good challenge? Especially one that benefits a charity that is near and dear to the Notre Dame family's heart!

Please direct your attention to The Infinity Coaches' Charity Challenge.

As a proud corporate partner of NCAA Men’s Basketball, Infiniti will donate at least $1,000 to each of the participating charities. The coach’s charity with the most votes will win the grand prize of $100,000. Here's how it works:
  • Support your coach by voting daily.
  • Coaches with the most votes advance to the next round and voting restarts.
  • Infiniti will donate at least $1,000 to each charity, and the winning charity receives $100,000.
  • The winner will be announced March 16.
  • Support your coach by sharing the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge with friends and family!
How does the Notre Dame family fit into this? The Purdue head basketball coach, Matt Painter, who represents the Smith Family BReaK Thru Fund, has pledged that if he wins the $100,000 prize, it will be donated to The Ara Parseghian Foundation.

Your vote would mean a great deal to Coach Parseghian and his entire family, and it will only take you just a minute. This is a chance for $100,000 to be donated to fight Niemann-Pick Type C disease, a rare childhood disease that took the lives of three of Coach Parseghian's grandchildren. The Ara Parseghian Foundation has made huge strides in research into NPC these past two decades and connections are being found to Alzheimer's and heart disease.

Please log on to the ESPN Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge and vote for Purdue head basketball coach, Matt Painter. Coach Painter has already made it to the Final Four Voting Round and is currently in second place. Voting will run from 3/2/2015 through 3/15/2015 ending at 11:59 am EST. Please vote daily and spread the word. Thank you!

The Parseghian family is forever grateful to you and your unending support!


Monday, February 16, 2015

More Good Works From Oscar McBride

Former Notre Dame tight end Oscar McBride has been very busy lately trying to create positive change in the lives of children. His Fit4Life Youth Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded with the goal enhancing the physical, cognitive and social development of youth through sport, with an emphasis on combating childhood obesity. Fit4Life also aggressively stresses the importance of physical wellness, emotional well-being, character evolution and life skills development through sport, cultural and positive-life experiences. Fit4Life achieves its goal by offering various programs and activities to keep our children active, engaged, and living healthy lifestyles.

Want to help out Oscar's foundation AND have a chance to rub elbows with some former Notre Dame football greats? Oscar's foundation has an upcoming event that will allow you to do just that!

The inaugural Fit4Life Youth Foundation "Irish Gridiron Legends" Charitable Event has been set for Friday, February 20th in New York City at Jack Doyle's from 6-8pm.

Jack Doyle's, 240 W. 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

Your ticket to the event includes:

Complimentary Buffet and Drink Tickets
Rub elbows with former players including:
Former Irish Gridiron Legends: Oscar McBride, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Bobby Brown, Irv Smith and Oliver Gibson
Former NY Rangers Players: Stefan Matteau
Former NY Jets Players: Wesley Walker
Former NY Giants Players: Carl Banks
Signed Raffle Items
Grand Prize Drawing ---> Trip for Two (2) to Puerto Rico (Round Trip Airfare Included)

Tickets Available at the door as low as $50!

Don't miss this incredible event!

Can't make it to the event? You can buy your raffle tickets online for a chance to win the trip for two to Puerto Rico!

Simply donate $20 (max. 10 entries) for your chance to win an island paradise vacation!

*Trip includes:

Two Round Trip Tickets on Delta or American Airlines from JFK International Airport

Three Days at the beautiful Gran Melia Golf Resort & Spa

Travel Vouchers do not expire until 2016

*Travelers are responsible for all incidentals

The Resort:

Gran Meliá Golf Resort is a highly sophisticated architectural gem nestled on Puerto Rico's north-eastern coast in Coco Beach, Río Grande. Against the backdrop of El Yunque rainforest, the villas and pavilions of Gran Meliá rise from an oceanfront landscape of gardens, pathways and pools. Gran Meliá brings the privacy and exclusivity you deserve, and allows you the opportunity to escape from the rest of the world. From the moment you step inside this tropical oasis, you will be enveloped by the beauty and grandeur of its architecture and stunning views, and realize that this is the place to live the true resort experience in Puerto Rico.


Trump International Golf Club boasts Puerto Rico’s first course of legendary proportions, designed by PGA Tour Professional Tom Kite. Comprised of two 18-hole championship courses, the Championship and the International, the meticulously crafted fairways feature stellar scenery. Each course winds through lush tree groves and over waterways and lakes, amid tropical blooms and past scenic bluffs, delivering an unparalleled golfing experience to players of all levels. For non-golfers, you can lounge poolside or indulge in the renowned YHI Spa.

Dining Experiences:

A selection of extraordinary first-class restaurants and bars will brighten your palate. With alternating operating schedules, you will encounter from an Asian Bistro and Italian to the best in international and Puerto Rican cuisine, featuring magnificent creations from our chefs. From elegant, gourmet dining to casual light snacks and exotic tropical drinks, there’s something to satisfy every appetite and bring you a refreshing taste of the best of the Caribbean.

Purchase your raffle tickets here!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

And the Good Works Keep Coming

As a parent, the number one thing you want for your child is good health. But when faced with a child who fights daily against an incurable, life threatening disease, you find strength that you never thought you had. This is the story of former Notre Dame wide receiver Jack Snow's daughter, Stephanie Snow Gebel.

Jack Thomas Snow (January 25, 1943 – January 9, 2006) played wide receiver at the University of Notre Dame from 1962 through 1964 and with the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL from 1965 to 1975. During his senior year at Notre Dame, Snow was a consensus All-American and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1964 behind the winner, fellow teammate Notre Dame quarterback John Huarte. 1964 was coach Ara Parseghian's first season with Notre Dame, and Parseghian made several key position switches in 1964, including moving Snow from flanker to wide receiver. Snow lost 15 pounds to compete more effectively as a receiver. Notre Dame's passing offense in Parseghian's first season helped produce 27 team and individual records, including five set by Snow: receptions (60), receiving yards (1,114) and touchdown catches (9) in a season; receiving yards in a game (217, vs. Wisconsin); and career receiving yards (1,242). He scored 19 more receptions in one season than any previous Notre Dame player. Snow also averaged nearly 37 yards per kick as the 1964 team's punter.

Jack Snow's beautiful granddaughter Raquel
The Jack and J.T. Snow Scientific Research Foundation (The Snow Foundation) was founded by J.T. Snow, former Six time MLB gold glove recipient and his sister, Stephanie Snow Gebel, the daughter of the late Jack Snow. Jack's granddaughter, Raquel Gebel was diagnosed in 2010 at the age of four years old with a rare form of diabetes, called Wolfram syndrome. J.T. and Stephanie decided to raise awareness and funding to find a drug therapy for this devastating form of diabetes.

Wolfram syndrome presents as Type 1 Diabetes and ultimately progresses to vision loss, hearing loss and cognitive decline. Tragically, 60% of patients affected by Wolfram syndrome die by their 30th birthday. The mission of The Snow Foundation is to make a difference in the future of medicine and of society by promoting and conducting cutting-edge clinical and basic science research on Wolfram syndrome and diabetes.

The Snow Foundation plays a central role in supporting research being conducted at Washington University School of Medicine located in St. Louis Missouri and supporting international collaborative research efforts. What is clear from this research is the strong link between Wolfram syndrome and diabetes, and it is their firm belief, and that of the renowned researchers with whom they are partnering with, that a cure for Wolfram syndrome will lead to treatments, if not a cure, for patients with diabetes. This would revolutionize healthcare, as we know it today.

This amazing foundation is primarily run by two women, Stephanie Snow Gebel and Anne Cordial Harkin, both mothers of four children who have made it their life's work to find a cure for this heartbreaking disease. I am constantly amazed at the work these two women have done in the face of such great diversity. Their work is near and dear to my heart not only as a mother, but also because my father and Stephanie's father were friends throughout college and their lives.

In order to reach their goal of getting a drug to these children, clinical trials must take place this year and they are in great need of financial support. It is my hope that the Notre Dame family and community will help The Snow Foundation reach their goal of raising One million dollars. Jack's granddaughter, Raquel should not have to lose her vision, hearing and brain development because of a lack of funding. Lets try to help her and the other children who are suffering from this insidious disease live a normal life they so deserve.

To learn more about The Snow Foundation, below is a video narrated by Notre Dame alum, Regis Philbin. you can also visit their website at If you should have any questions please email me at and I can get you in touch with Stephanie or Anne.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Little Thanksgiving Weekend Football

Looking for something to do with your family this weekend? How about a little Rams football AND a free concert!

The St. Louis Rams welcome the Oakland Raiders from the west coast on Sunday and as an extra bonus for the fans there will be a free concert following the game by country superstar Montgomery Gentry!

The Rams have a wide range of pricing options and fun Game Day events!

Looking for a way to make your kids a part of the action? Join the Rams Kids Club!

A membership to the Rams Kids Club is just $30.00 and includes:

Limited Edition Rams Kids Club Lunch Box
Rampage Pop-Up
Rams Lanyard
Rams Foam Football
Rams Head Coach Fisher Welcome Letter
Official Kids Club Member Certificate

As a part of their Rams Kids Club membership your kids will also get exclusive Kids Club Member Events:

Kids Club Holiday Party at the Magic House
Rampage’s Birthday Party
Kids Club Season Ending Party

See you on Sunday and LET'S GO RAMS!!