Gio Toribio is only six years old, but he’s already beaten cancer. Saturday night, he used that strength to beat the New York Jets’ defense as well.
Toribio was New York’s special guest at the team’s Green & White practice at Rutgers University. Gio, took a handoff from Jets QB Josh McCown and followed his blockers through a hole off the left tackle, and then sprinted past diving defenders for a 40-plus yard touchdown run that brought the fans in Piscataway to a standing ovation.
Gio was diagnosed with Stage 3 anaplastic large cell lymphoma when he was only 4 years old. He underwent chemotherapy treatment, but he wasn’t alone in his journey. Jets’ standouts Buster Skrine, Jamal Adams, and Darron Lee each took time to show their support for the young fan from Ossinning, NY. Lee in particular made a strong connection with Toribio, who also suffers from McCune-Albright syndrome — a condition that makes his bones brittle and will keep him from ever playing full-contact football.
“Darron chose to be a part of Gio’s life,” Lauren Toribio, Gio’s mother, said. “He didn’t have to be. He chose to accept him in his family. He genuinely loves him, and Gio loves him back. It’s amazing to watch.”
“It meant everything to have him out there after all he’s been through,” Lee told the media following the practice. “He’s the ultimate warrior in my eyes. Like I’ve told everybody before, he’s my hero. Happy to have him out here with the guys … It was a blast tonight.”
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 5, 2018