Odell Beckham Jr. spent much of his offseason in Los Angeles training for his fourth NFL season, and he and the rest of his teammates are due in New Jersey in just a few days for the start of training camp.
But when Beckham got a message that there is a cancer-stricken boy in Texas longing to meet him, the receiver dropped everything to make his wish come true.
According to the Facebook page made to chronicle his treatment, 9-year old Jayro Ponce went to the hospital last Dec. 26 with a stomachache; testing revealed a ruptured appendix, but during surgery cancerous tumors were discovered.
Ponce has been diagnosed with malignant rhabdoid tumor; it is a rare childhood cancer, with only 20 to 25 new cases in the United States each year.
Currently, he is staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Amarillo, Texas while he receives treatment.
Not long ago, Ponce was visited by another Giants player: starting center Weston Richburg, whose family lives not far from the Ronald McDonald House. While visiting Ponce, Richburg learned that Beckham is the boy’s favorite NFL player.
Fast forward to last week, when Richburgh’s father Danny reached out to Beckham via social media, telling him “time is of the essence” to make Ponce’s dream of meeting his sporting hero come true.
On Tuesday, Beckham responded, “How could I make it happen?,” and four days later he was at Ponce’s bedside.
In a Facebook post, Ponce’s family wrote, “We were blessed to spend time with this amazing soul and his friend! There’s no words for this experience. Jayro enjoyed this experience to the fullest. Thank you Make A Wish!”
Beckham has worked with the Make-A-Wish foundation in the past, visiting with other children through the organization.
Beckham donned a Team Jayro t-shirt; the family is selling them to raise money for medical and travel expenses.