JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Putnam County Rams defensive end, Jaheim Hall, got a chance to get back on the field on Sunday.
“I’ve never had an opportunity like this,” he said.
Hall and several other children battling cancer participated in a special on-field experience and recognition, all while cheering on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But Hall was chosen to do the ceremonial coin toss.
“We try to pick somebody who we knew it would mean a lot to, that’s into football,” Keli Coughlin, with the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.
Jaheim had to end his football season before it even had a chance to start. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor this past August.
“I ended up having to quit my job,” Jaheim’s mom, Marissa Hall, said. “He was in the hospital for several weeks, and they (T.C. Jay Fund) were able to help with household expenses and bills.”
Prior to the game, the T.C. Jay Fund hosted a VIP tailgate party with music, games and food.
“It’s an opportunity to take a break from cancer for the day,” Coughlin said. “To not deal with all the struggles that they’re going through on a daily basis. To really just focus on having fun.”
Every day, 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., according to the TC Jay Fund. That’s about 16,000 children every year.
“At any one time, up to 300 kids are on treatment right here in our own community,” Coughlin said. “So there’s a lot of need out there.”
Sunday’s event not only gave Hall and other kids a day of somewhat normalcy, but it made them feel like the stars of the show.
“I think it’s real good and just amazing.” Hall said.
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