Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation

Meet The Olsens

Join us in celebrating the Olsen family’s incredible journey – from Greg’s football triumphs to the inspiring story of TJ’s heart health. Their story is a testament to the power of love, determination and the strength that comes from facing life’s challenges together.

  • About Greg, Kara and the Family
  • Greg's Football History
  • About Tate, TJ and Talbot
  • TJ's Heart Story
  • About Greg, Kara and the Family

    At the heart of the Olsen family are Greg and Kara, a dynamic duo whose love and unity have defined their journey. United by their shared values and devotion, they stand as pillars of strength for their three incredible children: Tate, TJ and Talbot. Greg and Kara met as students attending the University of Miami and were married in 2009. Greg is from Wayne, New Jersey, and Kara is from Orlando, Florida. The Olsen family calls Charlotte, North Carolina, home with their two German Shepherd dogs. This family’s story is one of resilience, unwavering support and the unbreakable bonds that tie them together.

  • Greg’s Football History

    A celebrated athlete in the world of professional football, Greg Olsen’s legacy is etched in his impressive career. Greg Olsen played college football at the University of Miami and was drafted to play professionally in the National Football League (NFL) in the first round by the Chicago Bears in the 2007 NFL draft. Greg went on to play for the Carolina Panthers for nine seasons from 2011 to 2020. He played one season with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021 before officially retiring as a Carolina Panther on March 11, 2021. Greg became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards. Since retirement, Greg is now a full-time broadcaster with Fox Sports as the network’s number one football color commentator. With years of dedication, hard work and unmatched skill, Greg has left an indelible mark on the sport. His journey from the field to broadcast television to family life showcases his versatile and multifaceted nature.

  • About Tate, TJ and Talbot

    Tate, the oldest brother, exemplifies leadership and camaraderie within the Olsen family. Twins TJ and Talbot, a unique pair with their individual personalities, have brought a special light to the family. Their bond transcends the ordinary, creating a harmonious blend that defines the Olsen household.

  • TJ’s Heart Story

    TJ’s remarkable journey embodies the spirit of resilience and hope. Born in 2012 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a challenging congenital heart defect which means the left half of the heart did not develop correctly, TJ’s early days were marked by medical challenges. Facing the odds with unwavering strength, he underwent multiple open-heart surgeries before a life-changing heart transplant in the summer of 2021. Today, TJ thrives as a remarkable student and dedicated baseball player, embodying the Olsen family’s spirit in overcoming adversity.

The HEARTest Yard

During the roller coaster of emotions and logistical chaos with T.J.’s surgeries, hospital stays and medical needs, we were blessed to have tremendous in-home nurses that monitored T.J.’s growth, development and health during the first few weeks after he was released from the hospital. We knew it was our calling to help other families venturing down the same path we we re journeying. It was then, in 2013, that we established The HEARTest Yard program to cover 100 hours of in-home nursing care for families bringing their little heart baby home from the hospital. In December of 2020, we opened The HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center to provide comprehensive medical care to cardiac patients at Levine Children’s Hospital from birth through adulthood.