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Browns give the ball to a 5-year-old cancer patient

Posted by Michael David Smith on August 4, 2013, 12:38 PM EDT

AP
Ryan Encinas had the best play of the Browns’ scrimmage on Saturday, taking a handoff from quarterback Brandon Weeden, running behind a lead block from Trent Richardson, and rumbling for a 40-yard touchdown. And if Encinas is a player you hadn’t heard of before, that’s because it was his first time on a football field.

Encinas is a 5-year-old who was given the opportunity to take the field with the Browns thanks to the team’s work with the Littlest Heroes, a charity that helps families who have had a child diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Angela Bozic, Ryan’s mother, said it was a significant highlight for her son.

“My favorite part was when he asked one of the players to race him and he took off racing down the field,” she said. “I don’t know if you can comprehend how amazing that is. This is a kid who underwent all that treatment, who suffered surgery that left him with half of a lung on his left side, who has undergone so much. It’s amazing.”

Encinas is making progress in recovery, but he still has at least three more years of regular tests before he’ll be out of the woods. He’s not enjoying a typical childhood, but he did get to enjoy something few kids experience, thanks to the Browns.

Here’s a video of the touchdown.