In order to encourage giving, New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead performs a pull up challenge Monday, July 23 for Chris Cordaro II. Chris was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and Morstead was able to achieve 418 pull ups in 60 minutes to help raise money for the Cordaro family's college fund.
Chris Cordaro, a longtime New Orleans Saints employee who began battling an aggressive form of cancer in 2015, died Monday night surrounded by his family. Chris was 39 years old.
A native of Rustin, La., a soccer enthusiast, and graduate of Louisiana Tech, Chris joined the Saints organization in 2005 as a ticket sales account executive, coming to his dream job from the Shreveport Mudbugs Hockey Club. He was promoted to corporate partnership sales in 2008 where he was successful bringing many partnerships to the organization including Sanderson Farms. He remained a valued member of our team even after he had to take leave. Chris will be missed by the many people he touched through the Saints organization. He will be remembered for his strong courage and faith in God. Chris is survived by his wife, Jessalynn; daughter, Ava; and son, Landon.
Chris' battle with cancer - high grade neuroendocrine carcinoma in the pancreas, liver, bone, spine, scalp and multiple lymph nodes - became public last week when Saints punter Thomas Morstead conducted a fund-raiser to create a college fund for Chris and Jessalynn's children. Morstead did 418 pull-ups in one hour last Monday in the Saints weight room, a feat which was streamed live on the team's website and Facebook page to help attract attention to the cause. Chris attended the event which ended with Morstead and Chris doing a few pull-ups together.
Saints owner Gayle Benson, General Manager Mickey Loomis and Coach Sean Payton stopped by to visit with Chris and encourage Morstead,
Chris said his friendship with Morstead was a natural one.
"We have things in common, like soccer and football," he said. "My old team (Louisiana Tech) played his old team (SMU) in college. We just connected. It's relationships. So basically, when you work in corporate – at least the way it should be – you want to build those relationships and let them grow. So ultimately, you can have these relationships and it shows the good effect of it."
Morstead raised more than $100,000 for the Cordaros. The veteran Saints player posted this on his Twitter account after learning of Chris' death:
Cordaro talked about how his battle with cancer changed him in a 2016 story by NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune.
"This uncertainty evolved into a desire to live life to the fullest and to pray that I could understand God's will for me and my family," Cordaro told the website. "He gave and continues to give all of his fear and uncertainty to God."
Saturday, August 4th
St. Anthony of Padua Church
234 Angus Dr.
Visitation: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Service will begin at 1:00 pm
Chris' family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to What You Give Will Grow in order to Pay It Forward. Donations can be made by visiting: https://www.wygwg.org/