There was a time in her life when Elizabeth Groff, born in Ukraine, felt completely absent of hope and love.

Living in an orphanage with no family at all, she felt forgotten and alone.

But a single yet significant act of giving at Christmastime — involving a shoebox full of toys, sent and distributed by people who didn’t even know her — sparked a light in the darkness of her young life.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD SET TO HAND OUT ITS 200 MILLIONTH GIFT BOX THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

“There was nothing I had to prove to receive this shoebox gift, nothing I had to do to earn it,” she told Fox News Digital in an email about her life. 

“Through this act of unconditional love, I was washed suddenly in a bright hope,” she said. 

As a child, Elizabeth Groff lived in an orphanage in Ukraine — and was adopted at age 13 by an American family and taken to the U.S. Today she helps other needy children by giving out gifts through Operation Christmas Child during holiday time.

As a child, Elizabeth Groff lived in an orphanage in Ukraine — and was adopted at age 13 by an American family and taken to the U.S. Today she helps other needy children by giving out gifts through Operation Christmas Child during holiday time.
(Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child)

“God wasn’t going to abandon me,” she added, sharing her deep faith. “He was meeting me right there at rock bottom.”

Groff, 28 years old today and a 2017 graduate of Virginia Tech University, is reaching out to others in need during this holiday season and letting them know, too, that they are not alone — and that others care.

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As people all over the world prepare to make or buy presents for their loved ones this year, Samaritan’s Purse, the evangelical Christian humanitarian aid group, is anticipating a significant marker of giving and generosity toward other human beings.

It will collect and distribute its 200 millionth Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift in December 2022 — and Elizabeth Groff herself will be the one to hand it out to a child in need.

“I’m so grateful for Elizabeth’s adoptive parents, and every other father and mother who has welcomed a child into their family to love and care for them.” — Rev. Franklin Graham

Said Groff to Fox News Digital, “At 11 years old, God planted a seed of hope in my life through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. [And] at 13 years old, God blessed me with a family who adopted me and continues to show me the unconditional love of Jesus Christ through how they love me,” she added.

Elizabeth Groff herself will hand out the 200 millionth shoebox from Operation Christmas Child this year — offering hope to a needy child. She shared her thoughts on giving with Fox News Digital. 

Elizabeth Groff herself will hand out the 200 millionth shoebox from Operation Christmas Child this year — offering hope to a needy child. She shared her thoughts on giving with Fox News Digital. 
(Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child)

“God used that shoebox to tell me, ‘You are not an orphan. You are my daughter.’ The shoebox gift opened my heart to God and he began to nurture my heart, gradually replacing my feelings of abandonment with hope and tenderness.”

Rev. Franklin Graham, CEO and president of the North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse, told Fox News Digital, “I’m so grateful for Elizabeth’s adoptive parents, and every other father and mother who has welcomed a child into their family to love and care for them.”

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He added, “With an adopted grandson, I know firsthand what an incredible blessing adoption can be, not only to the child, but to the parents and extended family.”

Rev. Franklin Graham said about adoption, “This kind of love is one of the greatest pictures that we have of what God has done for us.”
(Samaritan’s Purse)

He said as well, “This kind of love is one of the greatest pictures that we have of what God has done for us. The Word of God tells us that when we put our faith and trust in God’s son Jesus Christ, we are adopted into his family!” 

He added, “God created adoption — and all those who choose to welcome children into their homes and families like he welcomes us deserve our deepest gratitude.”

Elizabeth Groff lived in an orphanage in Ukraine — then was adopted by an American family. Today she is giving out gifts through Operation Christmas Child, just as she herself received a similar shoebox of gifts years ago.

Elizabeth Groff lived in an orphanage in Ukraine — then was adopted by an American family. Today she is giving out gifts through Operation Christmas Child, just as she herself received a similar shoebox of gifts years ago.
(Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child)

Said Groff of how a simple box of items changed her life so many years ago, A shoebox gift opened my heart to God’s Word, a family around the world welcomed me home and a Christ-centered community rallied around me when devastation struck when the war broke out in Ukraine.”

AS CHRISTMAS NEARS, IT’S TIME TO ‘RECLAIM’ THE SEASON OF ADVENT, SAYS SOUTH CAROLINA FAITH LEADER

She said she now has “the chance to show the unconditional love that I have been given to my sister and nephew as well as children around the world through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child.”

Of the gift of adoption, she also said, “I could not have done any of this without my adoptive parents saying ‘yes’ to God’s call to adopt me. What a faithful God we serve!”

She shared more particulars of her adoption journey — and how she came to live in America and grow up with a family who loved her.

“Once I was placed into the orphanage [in Ukraine], I joined the orphanage choir. The choir had the opportunity to travel to the U.S. for two weeks. I was about 11 years old at this time,” she said.

Elizabeth Groff spent years in an orphanage in Ukraine. Eventually she was adopted by an American family in Virginia. Today she's giving back to others, as she herself was given to many years ago during the Christmas season.

Elizabeth Groff spent years in an orphanage in Ukraine. Eventually she was adopted by an American family in Virginia. Today she’s giving back to others, as she herself was given to many years ago during the Christmas season.
(Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child)

She went on, “During my time in the U.S., I was hosted by a family in Williamsburg, Virginia. On my last few days with them, my host family was driving me back to their house from one of my choir events and we decided to stop for lunch.”

On the way to the lunch, however, she said she fell asleep in the backseat of the car.

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“My host father decided to stay in the car with me to let me sleep while the rest of the host family went to grab lunch,” she said. “As he was sitting in the front seat, he turned around to check on me and he heard God say to him, ‘She is your daughter.’” 

Added Groff, “My host father could not believe that God was calling him back to Ukraine. At this time they had one biological daughter — and three years prior to hosting me, they adopted a little girl from Ukraine and the process was very difficult. They had no plans to return to Ukraine, but God had other plans.”

 “I couldn’t believe that I was finally getting my own family.”

And so, “on my last day in the U.S.,” she said, “the entire host family sat me down and asked me if I wanted to be adopted — and of course my response was shouting ‘YES!’ I was so excited. I couldn’t believe that I was finally getting my own family.”

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After all these years, however, Groff has not forgotten the shiny yo-yo that she received as a child when she was living in an orphanage. 

Someone had packed it for her inside the Christmas shoebox she received. 

Operation Christmas Child in action — with shoeboxes full of gifts packed for needy children all over the world. 

Operation Christmas Child in action — with shoeboxes full of gifts packed for needy children all over the world. 
(Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child)

That simple toy — and the much larger gesture of giving and caring — changed her forever and is why she’s active in giving to others today, she said. 

Recently, Groff has been traveling across the country to pack and prepare gift boxes for others; she’s been to Denver, Chicago, Nashville, and Charlotte, North Carolina. 

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She’s preparing now to hand-deliver the 200 millionth shoebox to a Ukrainian child impacted by the Russia-Ukraine war.

To learn more, watch the video at the top of this article, or click here to see it.

To the world, Johnny Cash was the “Man in Black,” whose songs of hard living and finding salvation surpassed genres for more than four decades. But to his sister Joanne Cash, the seemingly mythical figure of music was simply “a country boy.”

The songstress has come forward in a new documentary about the beloved singer/songwriter titled “Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon.” It explores his deep devotion to faith and how his love of God played a role in his life as he faced depression and a crippling drug addiction. It features never-before-heard conversations with Cash himself as he reflected on his personal journey. Cash passed away in 2003 at age 71, less than four months after his wife, June Carter Cash.

“He gave his heart to the Lord when he was 12, at our little country church,” Joanne told Fox News Digital. “… But when he grew up he got away from God and got in the drug years. He [then] recommitted his life to Christ… I guess he thought, ‘If God could change me, he could change anybody.’”

Joanne Cash spoke about her late brother Johnny Cash's faith in a new documentary.

Joanne Cash spoke about her late brother Johnny Cash’s faith in a new documentary.
(Courtesy of Joanne Cash)

“The Lord is very real in my life and was very real in Johnny’s life,” she shared. “Our mother was a very strong Christian and prayed for us constantly. Johnny’s unshakable faith in God was taught to him by our brother Jack. [He] was going to be a pastor, and of course, God took him to heaven before that could happen. He was only 14. But it taught Johnny to have an unshakable faith in the Lord.”

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According to Joanne, there were seven siblings among them and Johnny was “right in the middle.” As a child, he had big dreams of performing at the Grand Ole Opry, the stage where country legends are born.

From left: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash as ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ on December 4, 1956, in Memphis, Tennessee. This was a one night jam session at Sun Studios.

From left: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash as ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ on December 4, 1956, in Memphis, Tennessee. This was a one night jam session at Sun Studios.
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“There was something special about Johnny from the very beginning,” she shared. “We would listen to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night when it came on. That was something that not only he listened to, but all of us looked forward to. He said, ‘Isn’t it great? Listen to that music. One day, you’re going to hear me on the radio.’ I kind of laughed because I was a kid. And I said, ‘Really?’ He said, ‘Yes, you’re going to hear me sing one day on the radio.’ I didn’t believe it at the time, but I certainly believe it now.”

Joanne Cash described her older brother Johnny Cash as her “protector” with big dreams of making his mark in music.
(Courtesy of Joanne Cash)

Joanne described how Cash and Jack, her two older brothers, were “inseparable.” All the siblings were close as they resided in Arkansas. Growing up, Cash began writing songs and poems while admiring the music of artists such as Hank Williams, Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb, among others. Tragedy struck the family when Jack died from injuries he sustained in an accident.

“Johnny never got over that,” Joanne admitted. “All of us never got over it.”

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As he grew older, Joanne said Cash “was our protector” who watched over his siblings. While he appeared as a domineering presence with an unmistakable baritone voice, Joanne said there is still a misconception about his gloomy appearance.

Country singer/songwriter Johnny Cash poses for a portrait in 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee. His sister Joanne Cash said there was a special reason why her brother famously wore black.

Country singer/songwriter Johnny Cash poses for a portrait in 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee. His sister Joanne Cash said there was a special reason why her brother famously wore black.
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“I remember Johnny saying, ‘Johnny is a pretty nice guy, but Cash gets him in trouble,” she chuckled. “Somebody asked him, ‘Why do you wear all black?’ He actually didn’t at all. He wore blue jeans… he loved denim. And Johnny said about his dark closet, ‘You know what? It’s just really dark in there. I’m comfortable in black. It’s dressy. [And] I decided that I would stand up for the kids… that are struggling in the black, darkness of this world.’ That’s why he wore black.”

Johnny Cash's wife, June Carter Cash, helped the singer face his personal demons.

Johnny Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash, helped the singer face his personal demons.
(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

“He wrote the song ‘Man in Black,’ which describes that completely,” Joanne continued. “He’d wear it for the young and the old and the people [who] had never read the words that Jesus said. And he said, ‘I wear it for the prisoner who is long paid for his crime because he’s a victim of the times.’ If you listen to… the wording of that song, you will find out the reason he [wore] black.”

Joanne said Cash became a born-again Christian in 1972 in the same church “where I had given my heart to the Lord.” Joanne said she recommitted to her faith in 1970 after she faced her own struggles. Since then, she has become “free of drugs and alcohol.”

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Joanne Cash said she and her brother Johnny Cash, right, faced their personal struggles, but found salvation in Christ.

Joanne Cash said she and her brother Johnny Cash, right, faced their personal struggles, but found salvation in Christ.
(Courtesy of Joanne Cash)

“I can happily say I haven’t had a drink since 1970,” she said. “Not any of those drugs.”

Early in his career, Cash took massive quantities of pills to deal with the rigors of touring and other personal demons, Reuters reported. While he cleaned up with June’s guidance, the star relapsed towards the end of the ‘70s. His son, John Carter Cash, described how the patriarch faced near-death experiences, rehab stints and interventions in his 2007 book “Anchored in Love: The Life and Legacy of June Carter Cash.”

“He, like all of us, was not perfect,” said Joanne about her beloved brother. “We are not perfect. That’s why we need a Savior. Johnny knew he wasn’t perfect… He fell. He went into the dark side. And in the drug years, he almost lost his life… But God showed him some sort of a light. And I believe that was the Lord. It was the Holy Spirit leading him out of that darkness. And it changed his life… That’s why… he gave his heart back to the Lord and emerged from that darkness… I want people to know that as long as there is life and breath, there is hope.”

Minister Billy Graham, left, making an appearance on “The Johnny Cash Show,” circa 1971. The pair remained close until Cash’s death.
(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

In the ‘70s, minister Billy Graham learned of Cash’s renewed faith and invited him to be part of his Crusade events. The two developed a close-knit friendship that lasted until Cash’s death.

JOHNNY CASH IS KING IN NASHVILLE: HIS TUNES, LEGACY AND LEGEND RULE THE MUSIC CITY

Today, Joanne wants people to remember her brother for not only his undeniable musical talent, but also his determination to find salvation in Christ. She said this new film chronicling his journey is “the best documentary I have ever seen.”

“Your dreams can come true and then you [also can fall] away and get… to death’s door,” said Joanne. “[But] through the Lord Jesus Christ, there is hope… Even if you’re at your very lowest point. And Johnny proved that.”

“Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon” is playing exclusively in theaters Dec. 5-7.

Violent crimes have throttled cities across the country in recent years, and reports show that crime incidents are inching closer to some college campuses in recent days, igniting fear among some students and parents on how to bolster personal safety.

“We all want … students to be able to live on campuses in order to spread their wings away from home — but it is the partnership and good communication between university security officials, students and parents that will ultimately provide for the best security platform in and around a particular school setting,” Robert McDonald, a former Secret Service agent and criminal justice expert at the University of New Haven, told Fox News Digital.

Violent crime erupted across the country in 2020, with murders spiking by nearly 30% compared to the year prior, according to FBI data, which marked the largest single-year increase in killings since the agency began tracking the crimes. The crime rate exploded at a time when society was upended by lockdown orders stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, calls to defund police departments echoed across the country — including on college campuses — and repeated nights of protests and riots following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Nearly two years later, many cities are still coping with the recent crime trend, including higher than usual rates of murders, carjackings, assaults and other crimes. 

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN BIG CITIES WITH SURGING CRIME AFRAID TO LEAVE CAMPUS: ‘I WOULDN’T GO THERE’

Violent crimes have throttled cities across the country in recent years, and reports show that crime incidents are inching closer to some college campuses.

Violent crimes have throttled cities across the country in recent years, and reports show that crime incidents are inching closer to some college campuses.
(Elina Shirazi)

College campuses have historically and primarily dealt with crimes such as burglary and sexual assault, data from the National Center for Education Statistics show. But in the last few weeks alone, headlines across the nation have shown brutal shootings and murders on campuses, threats of rape, dorm intruders and armed robberies creeping closer to campus. 

Students at New York University are reporting that they are on high alert after a string of incidents in which intruders have skirted security and entered dorms, including in one case where an intruder allegedly watched a student sleep.

“I almost feel safer not living in a dorm,” Ishi Gupta, a 21-year-old senior, told the New York Post. “NYU students are paying so much tuition and the dorms are so expensive, and to not feel safe in them is kind of unacceptable.”

Students at New York University are reporting that they are on high alert after a string of incidents in which intruders have skirted security and entered dorms.

Students at New York University are reporting that they are on high alert after a string of incidents in which intruders have skirted security and entered dorms.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While students at the University of Washington recently sounded the alarm on how a handful of registered sex offenders live near the Seattle campus, and the students reported arming themselves with pepper spray.

In even more tragic incidents, a community in Idaho is grieving after four students at the University of Idaho were found fatally stabbed in a house off campus. And in Virginia, the University of Virginia campus is coping with a devastating shooting that left three school football players dead, another player injured and yet another student injured.

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Flowers are displayed at an improvised memorial at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, Nov. 21, 2022, for four of its students who were slain on Nov. 13.

Flowers are displayed at an improvised memorial at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, Nov. 21, 2022, for four of its students who were slain on Nov. 13.
(Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

McDonald said that in addition to students always having a firm understanding of their surroundings while living on college campuses, they need to get “back to the basics” and communicate with family and friends on where and when they go out in order to better protect themselves.

“There is a need for getting back to the basics with respect to communicating with family and friends on where students are going, who they are going with and reporting to someone when they leave a location and when they arrive at the next location or home,” McDonald told Fox News Digital. “Students sometimes don’t like to feel like they need to report to anyone, but someone having knowledge of their locations and travel plans can assist with overall safety concerns. Additionally, moving about with a friend or a group setting will also contribute to a safer environment than going out to locations alone.”

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Many schools across the country, most notably grade and high schools, increased security measures over the summer following the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead. At the college level, some school leaders have announced more police and public safety officer presence on campuses in the face of crime, including at the University of Idaho and at Johns Hopkins.

At the college level, some school leaders have announced more police and public safety officer presence on campuses in the face of crime, including at the University of Idaho and at Johns Hopkins.

At the college level, some school leaders have announced more police and public safety officer presence on campuses in the face of crime, including at the University of Idaho and at Johns Hopkins.
(JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images)

“In response to these crimes, we immediately altered our public safety deployment to provide an increased presence and focus on the areas that have been most impacted by these incidents. … These officers will be patrolling both in vehicles and on foot 24-7,” Johns Hopkins University’s vice president for public safety wrote in a message to the school community last month after a “disturbing increase in serious violent crimes,” including a string of armed robberies.

Parents have also increasingly sounded the alarm in recent days on crimes creeping closer to campuses, including at Temple University in Philadelphia where parents say crime has been an issue for years. A group of parents at the school even banded together earlier this year to hire private security to better protect the campus following the murder of a student and other crimes near campus.

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“As a parent of a student at Temple University, it’s sad to say, but you almost expect something bad to happen, something very negative to happen to your student down here. I have,” a parent of Temple student told WPVI earlier this month.

Parents have also increasingly sounded the alarm in recent days on crimes creeping closer to campuses, including at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Parents have also increasingly sounded the alarm in recent days on crimes creeping closer to campuses, including at Temple University in Philadelphia.
(iStock)

McDonald reiterated the importance of communication when explaining how parents can play a role in their child’s safety when they are living away from home.

“Good communication and discussion between parents and students can allow the student’s locations to be known by the parents, and conversely, the parents can feel a sense of what their children are engaging in and the locations that they are frequenting. Any exchange of information can only increase the level of security experienced, as well as should something bad happen, assist law enforcement with locations for investigation and the development of timelines surrounding the movements of the students,” he said.

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“Parents should also be talking to their college students on a regular basis in order to make sure the students are feeling safe, not experiencing any issues with stalkers or bullies, and to have a handle on what the students are experiencing at school.”

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It is 2004, and I am 13 years old. I am sitting at the computer, mouse poised to close my tab if my dad came in to look over my shoulder. He rarely did though, as he had no conception of the bizarre information I was accessing online. During my time reading fan fiction, an intriguing website had caught my eye. This apparently innocuous link altered the trajectory of my life for the next 15 years. 

The website, the FTM Resource Guide, still exists. “This guide is intended to provide information on topics of interest to female-to-male (FTM, F2M) trans men, and their friends and loved ones,” the homepage states. Various subsections have titles like “Packing: Creating a Realistic Bulge,” and “FTM Genital Reconstruction Surgeries (GRS).” 

Through my online exploration, I learned I was not alone in my aversion to my biological sex and began visualizing adult life as a man. 

A protester holds the trans flag during a demonstration at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, on June 25, 2021.

A protester holds the trans flag during a demonstration at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, on June 25, 2021.
(Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Pediatric transitions were unheard of back then, but I started binding with an ace bandage and asked my mom to get me boy’s clothes. I came out to my parents, but after they researched the atrocities of “female-to-male” surgeries, they decided not to “affirm” my revelations.

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I was crestfallen. I’d read about gender dysphoria and was convinced transitioning was my only shot at true happiness. 

“Many medical professionals have come to consider ‘post-transition’ transsexuals to be fully cured of their dysphoria or any other disorder,” I read on another transgender resource site, Susan’s Place. I had also developed treatment-resistant anorexia nervosa, so a cure-all for my mental illnesses was enticing. Believing I was trans sabotaged any attempts to improve my mental health without hormones or surgery.

Lawmakers listen as parents speak about the prospect of their children competing against transgender girls in school sports at the Utah State Capitol on March 25, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

Lawmakers listen as parents speak about the prospect of their children competing against transgender girls in school sports at the Utah State Capitol on March 25, 2022, in Salt Lake City.
(AP Photo/Samuel Metz, File)

At 17, I asked my parents to find me a gender therapist, who I’ll call Dr. Ryland. They assumed Ryland would give me an honest assessment, considering my many comorbidities. Instead, he affirmed me as a boy immediately. 

TRANSGENDER ‘BILL OF RIGHTS’ WOULD ERASE WOMEN

He was unfazed when I brought up my anorexia and persistent social problems. I told him gender dysphoria was my root issue, and he accepted my self-diagnosis. This starkly contrasted with my experience in eating disorder treatment, where practically every word I said had been scrutinized. It was clear Ryland wasn’t there to listen, but to guide me to a solution: transitioning.

After three appointments, Dr. Ryland suggested to my parents that I start testosterone. They were flabbergasted. They’d trusted Ryland to provide an impartial opinion, yet he steamrolled ahead with affirming my delusions. The car ride home was filled with awkward silence. My parents didn’t have to say a word for me to gather their answer was no.

I didn’t press the issue any further back then. At 23, I nearly transitioned, but a traumatic experience with injecting intramuscular testosterone convinced me otherwise. By 28, after years of deliberation and an overwhelming sense of desperation, I finally came out as trans publicly, started testosterone again, scheduled a double mastectomy, and filed for a legal name and gender change. 

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Within months, I experienced debilitating side effects and the loss of my natural singing voice. I didn’t realize that singing was more important to me than gender until it was too late. I have since detransitioned, and besides my voice, testosterone’s effects have faded. 

But what if I was a trans kid today? Puberty blockers are now readily available. The thought of never having to grow breasts or start a period would have felt like a dream come true. My parents would have been hesitant, but they might have been convinced if a doctor asked, “Would you rather have a living son or a dead daughter?”

Most parents who agree to start their children on blockers are unaware of the risks, like osteoporosis, brain damage and infertility, nor of the challenges to the evidence fueling the suicide narrative. It is a manipulation tactic and self-fulfilling prophecy; children who hear that if they do not transition, they will die, start to believe it.

Body modification is not a treatment for mental illness in any other scenario. Imagine if an anorexic requested a “weight-affirming” gastric bypass. Any honest medical professional would be horrified.

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By my reading of the new standards of care by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, as a minor I could have had a double mastectomy or even a hysterectomy, an intervention known to increase the likelihood of cardiovascular events.

When my parents and peers did not affirm my transgender identity, I was devastated, but it preserved my health and potentially saved my life. Gender affirmation is demonstrably dangerous for young people. Based on the available science, the Florida Board of Medicine recently approved a statewide ban on transgender medical interventions for minors. It’s time the rest of the United States and the world followed suit.

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The next generation of America’s top doctors could be more concerned about a patient’s race than previous generations. 

CriticalRace.org, which monitors critical race theory (CRT) curricula and training in higher education, has expanded its Medical School Database and found that 58 of the nation’s top 100 medical schools have some form of mandatory student training or coursework related to the polarizing idea that racism is systemic in America’s institutions. 

“Medical School education is in crisis, with ‘social justice’ and race-focused activism being imposed on students, faculty, and staff,” William Jacobson told Fox News Digital. 

Jacobson, Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and founder of the Legal Insurrection website, founded CriticalRace.org’s sprawling database that has also examined elite K-12 private schools, 500 of America’s top undergraduate programs and military service academies. 

CRITICAL RACE THEORY TAUGHT TO FUTURE MILITARY LEADERS AT U.S. MILITARY ACADEMIES, ACCORDING TO NEW STUDY

At least 58 of America’s 100 most prestigious medical colleges and universities have some form of mandatory student training of coursework on ideas related to critical race theory (CRT), according to CriticalRace.org.

At least 58 of America’s 100 most prestigious medical colleges and universities have some form of mandatory student training of coursework on ideas related to critical race theory (CRT), according to CriticalRace.org.
(Credit: iStock)

Earlier this year, the group uncovered that 23 of the 25 most prestigious medical colleges and universities have some form of mandatory CRT-related student training or coursework. CriticalRace.org expanded the study and found that 46 of the top 100 medical schools have offered materials by authors Robin DiAngelo or Ibram Kendi, whose books explicitly call for discrimination, according to Jacobson. 

“Approaching the doctor-patient relationship through a Critical Race lens is being implemented under the umbrella of ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ and other euphemisms, such as Ibram Kendi’s ‘anti-racism’ approach. ‘White privilege’ and similar concepts, pushed by Robin DeAngelo and others, are being infused into the medical school culture,” he said. 

The schools examined were based on the rankings by U.S. News’ rankings of America’s top medical schools. The study also found that 38 of the top 100 medical schools have some sort of mandatory CRT-related training for faculty and staff. 

For students, 14 schools were found to have department-specific mandatory training, 31 were found to have school-wide mandatory training and 41 have school-wide mandatory curricula. When it comes to faculty and staff, 18 schools have department-specific mandatory training, 30 have school-wide mandatory training and five have hiring committee-specific training. 

CriticalRace.org details the exact curricula and trainings at each school, along with contact information and an overview of every university. 

CRITICAL RACE THEORY TAUGHT AT MANY OF AMERICA’S 50 MOST ELITE PRIVATE K-12 SCHOOLS, ACCORDING TO NEW STUDY

Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, helped make critical race theory a national conversation in 2021. 

Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, helped make critical race theory a national conversation in 2021. 
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

“A patient-centric ethos is being drowned out by politics and activism,” Jacobson said, adding that CRT being pushed on medical students is particularly alarming even compared to other areas of higher learning. 

“Because there are only just over 150 accredited medical schools in the U.S., and they are so hard to get into, students really have no options. Unlike universities and colleges, where students may be able to avoid a race-obsessed campus climate, with medical schools students have to submit to race-focused medical education or give up their career hopes,” Jacobson said. 

“We have analyzed CRT-related training in colleges and universities and elite private K-12. As bad as those institutions have become, things are much worse in medical schools because the stakes are so high. Patient care and people’s lives are at risk when doctors and medical providers view patients as proxies for racial or ethnic groups in sociological and political battles,” he continued. “Every person has the right to be treated equally as an individual, based on his or her medical condition, without societal racial politics influencing treatment. Yet increasingly we see the medical establishment, including the American Medical Association, demanding that medical students and physicians become race-focused activists.”

The subjects of mandatory training and coursework are worded and phrased differently at individual schools, but use terms including “anti-racism,” “cultural competency,” “equity,” “implicit bias,” “DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion” and critical race theory, according to CriticalRace.org.

WHAT IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY?

CriticalRace.org found that 38 of the top 100 medical schools have some sort of mandatory CRT-related training for faculty and staff. 

CriticalRace.org found that 38 of the top 100 medical schools have some sort of mandatory CRT-related training for faculty and staff. 
(iStock )

For example, the study found that Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University’s Department of Surgery will “assess and improve upon the current state of surgical trainee evaluation to eliminate the impact of implicit and explicit bias.” 

University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine pushes incoming students to participate in “the Common Read Program to learn more about racial biases in medicine,” according to the study. The University of Illinois College of Medicine has a “Medical School Curriculum” subcommittee which will “plan the summer anti-racism reading/discussion group for incoming students and plan roll out across all phases” and “focus on reviewing the current curriculum content in all phases to remove biases and inaccuracies, identify deficiencies/omission… and to continue to incorporate the social determinants of health into the materials being taught,” the study found. 

But these are only a small sample of the plethora of examples found by CriticalRace.org.

“The ongoing damage to medical education and practice should be a wake-up call to lawmakers, since so much of medical school education and medicine is funded directly or indirectly through the government. The incoming House of Representatives should hold hearings on the destructive racialization of medical schools and medicine,” Jacobson said. 

UCLA DATABASE REVEALS WELL-FUNDED PUSH FOR CRITICAL RACE THEORY, ARGUES CORNELL LAW PROFESSOR

CriticalRace.org previously found that at least 236 colleges or universities of 500 examined have some form of mandatory student training or coursework on ideas related to CRT. Defenses of CRT-associated materials have ranged from outright denying CRT is being taught, to claiming that the underlying ideas are key to creating an inclusive educational environment.

CriticalRace.org is a project of the Legal Insurrection Foundation, a non-profit devoted to campus free speech and academic freedom.

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Americans should expect Christmas trees to cost more this year, and they may want to buy their spruces early, according to a survey of wholesale growers.

Inflation hit 7.7% in October, and Christmas tree growers weren’t spared with gasoline, diesel and fertilizer prices soaring. More than a third of Christmas tree growers said their costs have grown by at least 16%, according to a survey by the Real Christmas Tree Board.

37% of wholesale Christmas tree growers said their costs have increased by 16% or more, according to a Real Christmas Tree Board survey.

37% of wholesale Christmas tree growers said their costs have increased by 16% or more, according to a Real Christmas Tree Board survey.
(Fox News)

REAL OR FAKE: TEXANS ‘CHEER’ ON THEIR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS TREES

And buyers can expect to see those costs to needle them, too.

More than 70% of wholesale Christmas tree growers said they plan to increase their prices by between 5% and 15% compared to last year, according to the survey. Another 5% said they plan to mark up their trees over 20%.

71% of Christmas tree growers expect to increase prices between 5% and 15%, while another 5% plan to raise prices by more than 20%, according to the Real Christmas Tree Board survey.

71% of Christmas tree growers expect to increase prices between 5% and 15%, while another 5% plan to raise prices by more than 20%, according to the Real Christmas Tree Board survey.
(Fox News)

Some buyers, though, will get lucky: 2% of growers said they don’t plan on increasing their prices at all.

Droughts and wildfires have affected Christmas trees, and the variety and quality may be down, but there aren’t any anticipated shortages this year. Still, Americans better get to an evergreen fast: two-thirds of wholesale growers expect to sell all the trees they plan to harvest this year.

67% of wholesale Christmas tree growers expect to sell all the evergreens they harvest this year, the Real Christmas Tree board survey found.

67% of wholesale Christmas tree growers expect to sell all the evergreens they harvest this year, the Real Christmas Tree board survey found.
(Fox News)

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In total, between 25 million and 30 million real Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S., according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

As many as 30 million real Christmas trees are sold across the country each year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association

As many as 30 million real Christmas trees are sold across the country each year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association
(Fox News)

Americans who miss out might end up putting money in Beijing’s pocket. According to the Department of Commerce, four out of five artificial trees across the world are made in China.

80% of artificial trees sold across the globe are made in China, according to the Department of Commerce.

80% of artificial trees sold across the globe are made in China, according to the Department of Commerce.
(Fox News)

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Not to mention, artificial tree buyers will miss out on the unmistakable smell of the holiday spirit. In another Real Christmas Tree Board survey, more than 80% of respondents said “real Christmas trees smell like Christmas.”

A boil water notice was issued in Houston, Texas, on Sunday after multiple water treatment plants lost power.

Houston Public Works wrote in a press release that the water pressure had dropped “below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant.”

The agency advised the public to avoid drinking water without boiling it first, to bring all water to a boil for at least two minutes before using it and to let the water cool before using it. People without power are encouraged to use bottled water.

Water pressure was restored to all customers shortly after the power outage on Sunday, according to the release.

TEXAS KITE SURFER RESCUED WHILE CLINGING TO WOODEN DEBRIS OFF GULF COAST

A boil water notice was issued in Houston, Texas, on Sunday after multiple water treatment plants lost power.

A boil water notice was issued in Houston, Texas, on Sunday after multiple water treatment plants lost power.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city believes the water is safe, but they had to issue the boil water notice due to regulatory requirements. 

“Water samples will subsequently follow and hopefully we will get the all clear from TCEQ,” Turner tweeted early Monday morning. “The City has to wait 24 hours from that point before the boil water notice is suspended. The earliest would be tomorrow night or very early Tuesday morning.”

Officials will notify the public when water is again safe to consume without boiling it first.

The Houston Independent School District announced its schools, offices and facilities would be closed on Monday in response to the boil water notice.

People without power to boil water are encouraged by the city to use bottled water.

People without power to boil water are encouraged by the city to use bottled water.
(Reuters)

TEEN SMUGGLERS LEAD TEXAS POLICE ON HIGH-SPEED CHASE AFTER ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BAIL FROM VEHICLE

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement Sunday that he was directing the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to provide immediate resources to help Houston’s water problem. He said power was lost to three different water treatment plants.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he was directing state agencies to provide immediate resources to help Houston's water problem.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he was directing state agencies to provide immediate resources to help Houston’s water problem.
(Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

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“The State of Texas is immediately responding and deploying support to Houston as they work to get a safe supply of water back online,” Abbott said. “We have been in contact with Mayor [Sylvester] Turner to offer the full support of the state, and we’re currently working to fulfill the city’s request for help with rapid turnaround of water sample results.”

“I thank TDEM and TCEQ for swiftly responding to help address this issue. We urge those that the boil water notice affects to continue heeding the guidance of local officials and take adequate precautions when boiling and using water. Together, we will ensure our fellow Texans are supported while the city’s water supply returns,” he continued.

The Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running broadcast, debuted on WSM radio in Nashville on this day in history, Nov. 28, 1925. 

“The showcase was originally named the Barn Dance, after a Chicago radio program called the National Barn Dance that had begun broadcasting the previous year,” according to History.com. 

“Impressed by the popularity of the Chicago-based National Barn Dance, producers at WSM radio in Nashville decided to create their own version of the show to cater to southern audiences who could not receive the Chicago signal.”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, NOV. 25, 1963, JOHN F. KENNEDY IS BURIED IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

The Barn Dance was renamed the Grand Ole Opry two years later, courtesy of an unscripted moment of on-air inspiration by host George D. Hay on Dec. 10, 1927. 

“Following an NBC broadcast of Walter Damrosch’s Music Appreciation Hour [a classical music program], Hay proclaimed on-air, ‘For the past hour we have been listening to the music taken largely from the Grand Opera, but from now on we will present the grand ole opry,'” writes the Opry website in its history of the moment that reshaped the future of American music. 

Grand Ole Opry founder George D. Hay, signature whistle under his arm, is pictured with the WSM microphone hanging near his head.

Grand Ole Opry founder George D. Hay, signature whistle under his arm, is pictured with the WSM microphone hanging near his head.
(Grand Ole Opry Archives)

Hay’s turn of phrase, “grand ole opry,” affecting a rural southern American accent, resonated with listeners and proved an instant sensation. 

The Barn Dance broadcast was soon renamed the Grand Ole Opry — and has been going strong ever since. 

MEET THE AMERICAN WHO FOUNDED THE GRAND OLE OPRY: ‘REMARKABLE VISIONARY GEORGE D. HAY

Hay “was a remarkable visionary and colorful romantic who played a vital role in the commercializing and promotion of country music,” writes the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Barn Dance broadcast was soon renamed the Grand Ole Opry and has been going strong ever since.

The Grand Ole Opry was originally broadcast from the fifth-floor radio station studio of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company in Nashville.

The growth of the Opry surged in 1932, when WSM, the first clear-channel station in Tennessee, added a 50,000-watt transmitter. 

The new technology made WSM “a nation-spanning giant,” says the station’s website.

JOHNNY CASH IS KING IN NASHVILLE: HIS TUNES, LEGACY AND LEGEND RULE THE MUSIC CITY

Now, the Grand Ole Opry could be heard across large swaths of the country, far beyond its Nashville home. 

It became a national institution.

The broadcast grew so popular that it moved to the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville in 1943. 

A Thousand Horses perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, August 27, 2022. The Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville to its current Opryland location in March 1974. 

A Thousand Horses perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, August 27, 2022. The Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville to its current Opryland location in March 1974. 
(Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The Grand Ole Opry built its own theater and country-music campus, Opryland, in 1974, about 10 miles east of the city center. 

The Opryland theater is still a showcase for American songcraft today, ranging from tradition Appalachian fiddlers to the top hit-makers in contemporary country music.

The Grand Ole Opry built its own theater and country-music campus, Opryland, in 1974.

“Both the Grand Ole Opry and the National Barn Dance aired on Saturday nights and featured folk music, fiddling, and the relatively new genre of country-western music,” reports History.com.

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“Both shows created a growing audience for a uniquely American style of music and were launching grounds for many of America’s most-loved musicians — the singing cowboy Gene Autry got his first big break on the National Barn Dance.”

Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton all generated national acclaim from early-career performances at the Grand Ole Opry. 

American singer and songwriter Dolly Parton poses with American country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn circa 1997 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. 

American singer and songwriter Dolly Parton poses with American country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn circa 1997 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. 
(Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images)

A statue of Lynn, who died last month, stands outside Ryman Auditorium today. 

Cash, as an unknown teenager in 1950, famously met future wife June Carter, already a celebrated country-music performer, backstage at Ryman Auditorium. 

Johnny Cash's image is seen everywhere in the Music City, including in this ad during a Grand Ole Opry performance promoting Cash sites in downtown Nashville. 

Johnny Cash’s image is seen everywhere in the Music City, including in this ad during a Grand Ole Opry performance promoting Cash sites in downtown Nashville. 
(Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

Their relationship would become one of the most celebrated romances in American pop-culture history. 

Guinness World Records recognized the Grand Ole Opry as the world’s longest-running broadcast in 2004. 

Broadcaster George Hay, left, with performers Uncle Dave Macon with Paul Warmack in an early WSM broadcast.

Broadcaster George Hay, left, with performers Uncle Dave Macon with Paul Warmack in an early WSM broadcast.
(Grand Ole Opry archives)

The unique name Grand Ole Opry, created in a moment of inspiration by host Hay, solidified the broadcast’s rural American identity that’s been so critical to its success.

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“Hay had a very romantic and nostalgic vision of rural life, music and culture, and he carefully cultivated that in the early Opry programming,” Opry archivist Jen Larson told Fox News Digital.

Jalen Hurts broke the Philadelphia Eagles’ franchise record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game, as his squad became the first NFL team to reach double-digit wins in a 40-33 victory over the Green Bay Packers. 

Michael Vick held the single game record with 130 rushing yards, but Hurts quickly put himself in position to break that when he rushed for 102 yards in the first quarter.

It resulted in quick points, too, as the Eagles got off to an early 13-0 lead. Kenneth Gainwell punched it into the end zone for the first score of the game, and after Aaron Rodgers threw his first interception of the contest, Miles Sanders rushed his way in for his first of two touchdowns.

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Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after a 4-yard rushing touchdown by Kenneth Gainwell #14 (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after a 4-yard rushing touchdown by Kenneth Gainwell #14 (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Hurts would finish the first half with 126 yards on 10 carries, but the record-breaking rush came on the Eagles’ second drive of the second drive, when he ran for six yards for 136 on the night. 

He would follow that up with a nine-yard scramble to add on to his eventual total of 157 yards on 17 carries for the record. 

It was a high-scoring first half, though, as the Packers were matching the Eagles’ offensive prowess and ability to create turnovers. Rodgers let his running backs, Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon go to work on their second drive, and Dillon would eventually find a hole for a 20-yard score to make it 13-7.

EAGLES’ JALEN HURTS ACCOMPLISHES FEAT NO QUARTERBACK HAS DONE IN THE LAST 30 YEARS

Then, after a turnover on downs, the Packers capitalized with an 11-yard strike from Rodgers to Randall Cobb to take the lead, 14-13. Rodgers ended up finding Jones on a 23-yard pass into the back of the end zone to tie the game at 20 apiece after the Packers were able to make A.J. Brown fumble in their own territory. 

It was a wild first half, but the second half is where the real story for the Packers began as Rodgers was dealing with an apparent rib injury following an Eagles sack that eventually knocked him out of the game. 

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Coming into the contest, Rodgers’ thumb, which he admitted had been broken since Week 5, was a question mark. And after an interception on a wobbly pass to start the game, those questions continued until he settled in.

But the back-to-back NFL MVP seemed hurt even more with his rib injury, as he was wincing in pain on each throw he made as the Packers charged down the field on their second drive of the second half. 

As the Eagles began the fourth quarter with the ball, Rodgers jogged to the locker room with trainers to get his injury looked at. And the results weren’t good, as he went back to the sideline with no pads or jersey on. He finished the night 11 of 16 for 140 yards with two passing touchdowns and two interceptions.

PACKERS’ AARON RODGERS ADMITS PLAYING THROUGH BROKEN THUMB SINCE WEEK 5

Jordan Love, Rodgers’ backup since he was drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, entered the game. He immediately made his presence known, finding Christian Watson on a bullet in the middle of the field, which he took 63 yards for a touchdown to make it 37-30 Eagles. It was Love’s first touchdown pass since Week 18 of the 2021 season. 

A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with Jalen Hurts #1 after a 6-yard touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with Jalen Hurts #1 after a 6-yard touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Eagles, though, rushed their way down the field and Pro Bowl kicker Jake Elliott drove through a 54-yard field goal to give Philly a 10-point lead. 

Love and the Packers would get a field goal to bring the score within a touchdown, but Mason Crosby’s onside kick went the Eagles’ way and they rushed it with Sanders to ice the win.

Love was solid in the quarter, going 6 of 9 on the night for 113 yards and the touchdown pass.

DeVonta Smith was the leading receiver for the Eagles with 50 yards on four receptions, while Brown had a touchdown and 46 yards through the air. Quez Watkins also hauled in a 30-yard pass from Hurts just before halftime for a touchdown. 

JALEN HURTS ‘GRATEFUL’ FOR EAGLES’ HISTORIC START BUT SAYS ‘THE JOB IS STILL NOT DONE’

And it wasn’t just Hurts rushing for over 100 yards, as Sanders had 143 yards on 21 carries to aid in Philly’s 363 yards rushing as a team on the night. 

In the pass game, Hurts had 153 yards on 16 of 28 with his two touchdown passes as well. 

For the Packers, Watson would finish with 110 yards on four receptions as his recent weeks continue to show promise. Dillon was their leading rusher with 64 yards on eight carries. 

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts in the end zone prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts in the end zone prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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The Eagles will welcome the Tennessee Titans next week as they look to pile on more wins as the NFC’s top seed, while the Packers, at 4-8, may think their quarterback situation over with playoff hopes dwindling. 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love came into Sunday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles as Aaron Rodgers left with an oblique injury.

Rodgers had been battling through pain in his hand and was injured during the game. He was grabbing his ribs before he finally exited the game. He was listed as questionable to return.

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

On Love’s first drive of the game, he hooked up with rookie wide receiver Christian Watson for a 63-yard touchdown that cut the Packers’ deficit to seven points. He completed all three passes on the drive.

It was Love’s first touchdown pass of the season and it came on the longest completion of his career.

RAMS’ SEAN MCVAY ACCIDENTALLY HIT IN JAW BY OWN PLAYER: ‘IT WAS A GOOD SHOT’

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Love appeared in six games last year – his rookie season. He started the one game Rodgers missed because of COVID. He was 36-of-62 with 411 passing yards, two touchdown passes and three interceptions. He appeared in six games in 2021.

Rodgers is dealing with a thumb issue on top of the new oblique injury. He was 11-for-16 for 140 yards and two touchdowns before he left. The Eagles got to Rodgers three times.

Rodgers has not been himself through the first 11 games of the season. The injuries coupled with the receivers not clicking through the first part of the season.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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He entered Sunday’s game with 2,542 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

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