Cleveland Browns give 5-year old cancer survivor the ultimate thrill

August 3rd was Family Day at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, and the Browns really made it count, especially for one local family. During the inter-squad scrimmage, 5-year old Ryan Encinas, scored a touchdown in front of a record crowd, but that’s not even the most amazing part of the story.

Ryan Encinas was diagnosed with lung cancer when he was only two years old and spent six weeks in the hospital. During that time he had chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This year he’s celebrating two years of being cancer free. He’s only five and he’s already beat cancer. This is one awesome kid.

Trent Richardson blocks for Ryan Encinas during Family Day at First Energy Stadium

Trent Richardson blocks for Ryan Encinas during Family Day at First Energy Stadium

This amazing idea actually came from Coach Rob Chudzinski’s 7-year old son, Kaelan, who had seen a similar play done by the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Coach Chud loved the idea and the Browns Organization contacted Littlest Heros, which is a local organization that assists families of children diagnosed with cancer.

Ryan wore a jersey with the number “1” on it and “Encinas” on the back. QB Brandon Weeden handed the ball off to Ryan, who ran 40 yards for the touchdown in front of over 24,000 screaming fans, and with RB Trent Richardson as his lead blocker. After the play and ultimately the game were over, players asked Ryan for his autograph.

Everyone involved was so excited to have been a part of something so amazing. QB Brandon Weeden said after the game:

“That was cool. When Chud told us we were going to do that in team meetings, I was pumped about it. That was a cool deal. The kid is 5-years-old and he’s been through a lot. I do a lot of stuff back home with Children’s Hospital, so every time something like that happens, it bring a lump to your throat.”

Everyone needs a nice feel good story to remind us that football is just a game, but it can have a huge and positive impact on people of all ages.

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