Looking across the line of scrimmage at the fire-breathing Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams is not something most people would consider a pleasurable experience. But for children dealing with and being treated for pediatric cancer at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, a virtual visit on Tuesday with Williams and his cheek-to-cheek smile was a dose of positive medicine and good cheer at a difficult time.
"I'm an American Cancer Society ambassador, my mom died of breast cancer," Williams told Bart Scott and Dan Graca on this week's edition of "Inside the Jets." The first thing I wanted to do when I got to the NFL [in 2019] was to do anything I can to put the American Cancer Society word out to world. I have a big platform playing for the Jets and in the NFL. I do what I can to help the cancer society. The Jets organization helps out with pediatric cancer, and the first time I heard about that I said I'd do anything I can do to help."
Williams' mother Marquischa died in 2010 at age 37 after being a five-year cancer survivor. When she died Quinnen was 12 years old and his brother Quincy, now a linebacker with the Jets, was about to turn 15.
Through his well-known dedication to fighting all forms of cancer, Quinnen Williams was the perfect person to kick off a weeklong program in the Jets' and the Atlantic Health System's participation in the Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer campaign in conjunction with the NFL. At Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium against visiting Tennessee, the Jets will host as honorary captains three children who have completed their cancer treatment. The team has also committed $80,000 through the Jets Foundation and the annual Charity Golf Classic (to be held on Monday, Oct. 4 at Morris County Golf Club) to support Goryeb Children's Hospital. Proceeds from the charity golf tournament will also benefit The Foundation for Morristown Medical Center.
"It's an amazing program and this is a small token of what I can do," Williams said. "Something small to brighten their day. I've been through the same thing and I hope to make them think about something happy and positive while they're living in a negative, bad time. Anything I can do I'm willing to do. When the Jets asked me to do this, it was an automatic yes. I'm super positive and super blessed to be an NFL player. I'm young and going good in my life, but others are having a hard time with cancer. This is an opportunity for me to share my blessings with them so they can experience a little bit of happiness."
At the game on Sunday, each of the three honorary captains will receive a custom Jets jersey, a shopping spree in the Jets Shop and they will get to watch the game with their families from a suite.