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Shaquem suffered a deformity in the womb and doctors noticed that his hand was not developing normally. The young Shaquem lived for the first years of his life with the improperly developed hand; however, the pain soon became unbearable, and his hand was amputated.
Shaquem’s parents were determined that their son wouldn’t be treated any differently to his peers. And it seems the rising football star adopted this mentality: he certainly hasn’t let his “disability” hold him back!
In a video that’s now gone viral, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin discovers he shares something in common with a young fan named Joseph. Like his football hero, Joseph is also missing his left hand.
The football star’s talent and rise to success, despite his difference, has garnered him a huge fan base. But Shaquem is keen to give back to the community that has supported him throughout his successful career, too. As such, he recently visited the “Against All Odds” event on Feb. 10 at the Brooks Rehabilitation Center in Jacksonville, Florida.
He made a significant connection.
A little boy named Joseph, or “JoJo” as his football-loving family call him, has the same affliction as Shaquem: he also only has one hand. The kindly NFL star interacted with the little boy, and we’re sure the meeting left its mark. As JoJo gets older and looks back on the photos—we’re sure his doting parents took hundreds!—the significance of his meeting with Shaquem will increase exponentially.
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Hear from the family about this moment with @Shaquemgriffin.
“He proves that you can overcome and you can do it,” #AgainstAllOdds @news6wkmg @luckyfinproject @BrooksRehab @UCFKnights pic.twitter.com/l3QBoVBpr0
— Kirstin O’Connor (@KirstinNews6) February 13, 2019
“Against All Odds” event organizers described Shaquem’s visit: “What a great dude!” they cheered. “[A] role model inspiring millions to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacle, never giving up, changing lives.” They added that Shaquem had hugged every single person he met.
Shaquem took the time to visit and chat with numerous disadvantaged and differently abled kids after meeting little JoJo, and documented the visit on social media. “This is why I love what I do,” the star wrote on Instagram.
Thank you Shaquem Griffin for setting the example for our 1 year old that anything is possible. This Florida family is now Seattle Seahawks fans and forever Shaquem Griffin fans. Seahawks_Kids
“I was so impressed with the way you made the young man [feel] so special,” responded one supportive fan. “He will have lifetime memories.”
Success certainly hasn’t compromised Shaquem’s principles.
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The NFL star has conviction that he’ll always use his visibility in the public eye to fight for equality. He made it to where he is with a significant physical disability: there’s no reason why any child should be held back for being different to their peers.
After winning the NFL “Game Changer” award at the NFL Honors award ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 2, Shaquem delivered a rousing speech, saying: “We don’t worry about negativity because we’re too positive.”
In a video that’s now gone viral, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin discovers he shares something in common with a young fan named Joseph.
由 NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt 发布于 2019年2月13日周三
The Seahawks also quoted their star player on their Twitter page: “I’m not creating a difference in football,” Shaquem stated, “I’m creating a difference in sports, period.”
Shaquem, the NFL are right: you truly are a game changer.
Are you, or anybody you know, affected by disability? Be sure to champion equality by sharing and commenting on this awesome story!