Kudos to the coaches and players of the Lawrence High football team for making a day special for a father and his son.
Daymien Rios, 3, is the son of Julian Rios, a 2007 graduate of Lawrence High and former linebacker for the Lancers football team. On June 4, Julian and Daymien’s mother, Tasia Hinton, got terrible news. Daymien was diagnosed with pontine glioma, an inoperable tumor on the brain stem. The cancer is usually fatal.
“It was unreal,” Julian told reporter Yadira Betances of learning about his son’s cancer. “This is like a bad dream that I can’t seem to wake up from.”
When Daymien was born, Julian imagined he would one day play football for the Lancers, too.
The coaches and players made that happen last week. Rios asked head coach Mike Yameen if his son could be on the field before practice. The coach readily agreed.
“It doesn’t matter when he graduated,” Yameen told Betances. “He’s still one of us. Once a Lancer, always a Lancer and we wanted to provide him a moment with his son that he’ll always remember.
“I wondered, what can I do to make him feel better than spending a moment with his father,” Yameen said. “I have a 4 year old and it hurts you in the heart.”
Daymien got on the field with the big boys and ran and scored a touchdown. He tossed the ball to Christian Guzman, who was co-captain with Julian in their high school days and is now an assistant coach.
“Seeing him so happy makes me forget his sickness,” Rios said. “I wish we can stay here all day. It’s not often that I get to see him this happy and what father doesn’t want to see that from his son.”