Marquise Goodwin is a great all-around athlete. Not only is he a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, but he also competed in the long jump at the 2012 Olympic Games.
It turns out his versatility and his heart also transfer to his life off the field.
Look no further than Goodwin’s genuine interaction with Austin DeMello, an 11-year-old who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and also a newly-signed 49er thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When Austin wasn’t feeling well during practice, Goodwin came over to check on him and offer some encouraging words, based on his own experience.
“I’ve got a sister who never walked a day in her life…She’s still smiling, still enjoying life. You can too. It’s going to be alright,” he told Austin.
Lucky for us, the moment was captured by the team’s Hard Knocks-style digital documentary.
Take a look:
Keep fighting Austin 💪 pic.twitter.com/0OaKVNfK6v
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) August 25, 2017
According to a 2014 piece by Democrat & Chronicle, Goodwin’s sister has put the five-year NFL veteran’s own obstacles into perspective.
Goodwin’s sister, Deja, who is 10 months younger than 23-year-old Marquise, has always been his guiding light and the person who has kept him grounded. Born three months premature, Deja weighed three pounds, had webbed hands, did not have a tailbone, could not breathe on her own, and doctors told her and Marquise’s mother, Tamina Goodwin, she probably wouldn’t live past six months.
They were wrong. Deja beat those grim odds and began to breathe on her own and develop, but just when it appeared she might someday have a chance to live a normal life, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two. As if that wasn’t terrible enough, her case included an acute stiffening of her muscles which basically locked her arms and legs into place meaning she’d never be able to walk or functionally use her arms.
“When I look at her, and what she’s dealt with her whole life, my situation is very small,” Marquise said.
Whether he’s on your fantasy team or not, Goodwin is certainly one to root for.