New England Patriots offensive tackle, Nate Solder, has been awarded the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award. The former head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts, Block stood for courage, and advocated compassionately for children in the community. The Ed Block Foundation supports the well-being of abused, neglected and at-risk children. They focus on breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect for children to have safe and nurturing families.

This award started in 1978 and recognizes players who demonstrate commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Teammates vote for each other to receive this award.

Adversity at Every Turn Doesn’t Stop Solder

In the 2014 off season, Nate Solder beat testicular cancer and started every game of that Super Bowl Championship season. He started the 2015 season, but suffered a torn bicep muscle and went on injured reserve. Then, just weeks later, Solder and his wife, Lexi, received devastating news. Their infant son, Hudson, had a Wilms tumor in his kidneys. A Wilms tumor is a type of kidney cancer diagnosed primarily in children. Away from the game with his own injury, Solder and his wife fought for their son and continued to help other families who dealt with similar challenges.

Community Giving — A Pats Tradition

Solder spends time at the Hockomock Area YMCA, volunteering and attending events, such as the Integration Initiative. The Integration Initiative supports children with special needs. Also, he raised awareness for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation during the 2016 My Cause My Cleats program. The Joe Andruzzi Foundation assists cancer patients and their families.

Patriots Rob Gronkowski, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Jerod Mayo, Logan Mankins, Wes Welker and Tedy Bruschi have also received this award. Pretty good company!

Solder will receive this honor on March 9 in Baltimore. Congratulations, Nate!