The Seahawks and their fans can’t wait to see what happens in the first round of the NFL draft tonight.
Meanwhile, in Nashville, Tenn., site of the 2019 NFL draft, a remarkable young man really can’t wait for Seattle’s third-round pick on Friday night.
Thirteen-year-old Owen will join former Seahawks NFL most valuable player Shaun Alexander on stage in Nashville as a special guest to announce Seattle’s selection in the third round.
Owen is a 13-year-old patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, about a three-hour drive from Nashville. At the age of 4, Owen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
His favorite team is the Seahawks, because of a favorite uncle of his who lives in Seattle.
Owen fought his cancer for 2 1/2 years, according to St. Jude. He completed treatment in 2012. He plays not one or three but four sports. He’s number 2 for his school football team. He also plays basketball and soccer.
And, oh, yeah, he runs a 5:36 mile for his track team.
“I’m so excited to attend the NFL draft and can’t wait to get to Nashville to make the round-three pick for my favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks,” Owen said in a press release from St. Jude. “It will be an amazing experience to be part of the draft, so I’m thankful for both St. Jude and the NFL for giving me this incredible opportunity.”
Owen and Alexander will be on stage at the draft Friday to raise awareness of the mission at St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.
The NFL MVP in Seattle’s first Super Bowl season of 2005 is now 41 years old. The former running back introduced Seahawks’ second-round pick Jarran Reed at the 2016 draft in Chicago along with young Andrew Woodruff, another St. Jude patient.
“The NFL is a longtime partner of St. Jude, providing incredibly memorable experiences for our patients and families each year through opportunities like the NFL draft and for kids to learn how to help other kids through the Play 60 program,” Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said in a press release about Owen’s special night Friday .
“Owen has an inner strength and determination that should be admired, and we are honored that the NFL has invited him to represent St. Jude at the draft to support all of the children fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”
St. Jude is a place worth trumpeting, at the NFL draft and everywhere else.
It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped the overall childhood cancer survival rate rise from 20 percent when the hospital opened more than half a century ago to more than 80 percent now.
St. Jude says it “won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.”
Friday night, when he calls the Seahawks’ third-round pick, all of the NFL will see how vibrant Owen is.