Mark Sanchez has been extremely busy this offseason, spending most but not all his time on the football field. But his good work continues away from the field as well. ESPN and ESPN Deportes detail the "wish" of 14-year-old Jesus David Reyes from North Carolina that was fulfilled toward the end of last season.
Reyes took his first steps while holding a football. He grew up a fan of the gridiron and grew into the "backbone" of his family (his mother, Josefa, and three siblings). He's just entering high school, and Sanchez is his idol.
He also has had to be a fighter since he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in November 2009. He's in remission and doing well, although he still must undergo chemotherapy once a month and after that will need checkups at least once a year for the rest of his life.
The ESPN Deportes series "Mi Deseo" is telling Reyes' story now, part of which is his admiration for Sanchez. And Sanchez reciprocated last December in a big way. Reyes was presented with a locker at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and attended the Saturday, Dec. 10, walkthrough practice as well as the Jets' victory over Kansas City the next day.
Sanchez hung with the Reyes family for the better part of an hour that weekend, then bought tickets for the family to the Broadway production of The Lion King.
The quarterback's fulfilling of his idol's wish was captured by the Mi Deseo cameras. And while it's not automatic that episodes of the series in Spanish transition to the "My Dream" series on ESPN, this segment has. The Sanchez/Reyes story will be aired on SportsCenter at 3 p.m. ET today and then throughout this evening and probably into Saturday morning. The heartwarming story is also told in a story by Adam Reisinger that is expected to go live soon on ESPN.com.
Brick the Author
D'Brickashaw Ferguson also is showing a little bit of his life away from the field this weekend when the Jets left tackle releases the first book of his "Brick's Way" series at Barnes & Noble at the Country Glen Center in Carle Place, N.Y., on Saturday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
"Brick's Way" is a series of children's books aimed to entertain children while inspiring them to make a difference in their community. "GO GREEN!" is the first book in the series.