When Corey Linsley bought 10-year-old Travis Kohlbeck a bike during Packers training camp, neither of them could have guessed the journey it would take them on in the five years since.
The Green Bay Packers center was a rookie in 2014 when he randomly chose Travis to be his bike buddy on the second day of training camp, hitching a ride on the boy’s bike from Lambeau Field to Ray Nitschke Field before practice. As they talked, he learned Travis’ mom, Alicia, was in the hospital with a brain hemorrhage. A couple of days later, Corey took Travis shopping for a new bike as a diversion while his mom was in intensive care.
It was a gesture that, to Corey’s surprise, went viral after Travis’ dad, John, shared a heartfelt Facebook post about it. It was also the start of a friendship that has gone well beyond the bike bond Corey, 27, and Travis, now 14, share each year at training camp. The Linsleys — Corey and wife Anna and their newborn son, Seamus — and the Kohlbecks — Alicia and John and their four children, Jenna, twins Travis and Sydney, and Nate — have become like extended family to one another.
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