HOUSTON - Houston Texans player Justin Reid is sparking joy for young cancer fighters. He has personally provided dozens of game tickets for them and now he’s coming up with fun ways to entertain them through Zoom parties.
While Justin may be #20 on the field, he's #1 in the hearts of many local children. "Thanks for all you do for kids and cancer," exclaims one child on the Zoom chat. He was all smiles when telling her she's welcome.
Justin is an Ambassador for Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance, an organization that enhances the lives of children and their families, dealing with a dreadful disease. He decided to check-in on them and help entertain them while they're at home during the COVID-19 crisis.
"I have a soft place in my soul to come and talk to you all, to see you in the hospital, and through these video chats. I've always loved being with kids. When I was a kid, I had good role models, big brothers, and I want to help next generation and share my experience and knowledge and give advice about what I can help with," explains Justin.
Parents say he's quite the role model for their children. When he got his chance in the NFL, he put his studies on hold at Stanford University, but now he's making a comeback with it. He's working online now to take courses at Stanford to complete his degree in industrial engineering.
He's working every day to train his mind and body, while at home during the pandemic, all while pushing himself to try new things.
"During the season, I took up piano as a hobby! I think of it as a mixture of instruments, so that's my hobby and to keep me in the house and take up time," says Justin.
He shares strong words of advice that can benefit everyone! "Try your hardest! Work your hardest! For me personally, my dad told me to be the hardest working guy in the room. I live with that and try to not ever let anyone ever outwork me at anything," states Justin.
He spends time at the hospital with many of these families and one was thrilled to share big news with him. "We are happy to let you know that as of April 15th, she has been declared cancer-free," says a loving mom. "Congrats! That's amazing - so happy for you," exclaims Justin, as everyone else in the chat claps and cheers.
Justin says he hopes he gets to invite more children to his games, after the pandemic tapers off. Meanwhile, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance plans to plan even more surprise zoom parties to help brighten the lives of children who have to deal with cancer.
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