GREEN BAY - This last regular season Green Bay Packers home game of 2012 marks a special milestone for one fan. He moved to Green Bay from Florida after he was given a second chance at life. His goal: go to all Packers home games.
"This is the whole thing right here, the walk to it," said Doug LaFond, decked in Packers athletic shorts and tall socks despite the frigid December temperatures.
LaFond cherishes his nearly weekly walk into Lambeau Field for the Packers game. This man who never thought he'd walk again has taken quite the journey to go to every home game this year.
"I was hit by a car in February and my pelvis was shattered and I couldn't walk for three months. I said, you know, there's nothing we can do. We gotta go just live the dream," LaFond explained.
With a fresh outlook on life, the 29-year-old Packers fan from Daytona Beach set his sights northward.
"I pretty much moved here to go to every Packers game, for the whole season. My thing is training camp to the Super Bowl," he said smiling behind his novelty sunglasses.
He moved here from Florida with a vanity license plate that reads "you know me." And now many around Lambeau have gotten to know this interesting Packers fan.
"He's such a likeable guy," said Justin Koehler.
Koehler became friends with LaFond when he came into Champions Bar and Grill, where Koehler's a manager.
"He told me a little bit about his story and we just clicked immediately. I don't think it's coincidence that he showed up here," he said.
"The folks at Champions have become a second family to me," said LaFond.
Without season tickets, LaFond has to find a deal each week. This Sunday, he happened upon Tony Schramm of Appleton, who had an extra seat.
He sold it at face value.
"For someone to go all the games and stuff, it's kind of nice," said Schramm, who also moved back to Wisconsin in the '90s, in part, to partake in more Packers games.
La Fond says he pays forward as much kindness as he receives here in Lambeauland.
"When you high-five people, they smile. And happiness always brings positivity, and nothing is bad with positivity," said LaFond, approaching a group of tailgaters. "High five, life the dream! Go Packers! Alright!"
He says his mission was to simply find happiness through supporting his favorite team.
La Fond now realizes he may have unintentionally inspired others along the way.
"Nothing you can do in life. You gotta follow your dreams, you know?" he said, smiling.
La Fond says he doesn't know what's on tap for next season. He says he appreciates all the kind strangers who have helped him out to reach his goal.
Fans at Sunday's Packers-Falcons game ran into a wintry problem.
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Single-digit temperatures and light snow are greeting Green Bay Packers fans at Lambeau Field.
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