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


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.

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

  1. I don’t care if this was already done at the Nebraska spring game, this type of thing will never get old for me. What a great way to give a kid who has been through a lot he would like to forget a moment he’ll always remember.

  2. Amazing thing for the Browns to do. You know it meant the absolute world to that kid, who not only battled cancer, but likely can’t comprehend exactly what he went through. Got tears in my eyes from watching that.

  3. God Bless the Browns and everyone involved in making this happen. So many times we’re thrown the negative dark side of the NFL. It’s stories like these that shed the light on the positive influence the players and the league can have on someone’s life. Amen.

  4. Great. Let’s hope that this is one of many good stories to come from the Browns this year, they deserve it IMO.

  5. Great job Browns, I just wish all those people who can help others would do so, especially those with the power and means to do so. That said we can make a difference to other people and make the world a better place.

  6. With all the negative pub athletes and franchises get, people tend to forget that this is what sports are capable of doing for people and their families. Bringing hope. Michael Irvin touched on the effect the post Katrina saints falcons game had in the entire nation during his HOF speech. It’s more than a game

  7. Makes you put things back in perspective when you see an innocent child going through what no kid should go through.

    I just became a Browns fan.

    Every team undoubtably does things like this. We need more of those stories in the media, not only to put a positive look back on the NFL, but more importantly to being attention to people and charities that need help.

    My best wishes to you, little guy!!

  8. I saw the touchdown at the Stadium watching the practice yesterday. That was a very touching thing they did. For kid that small to have a tumor the size of a football invite him,just wow. I’m glad the kid is in the clear or close to it now

  9. when posting on a story like this, why would anyone feel the need to be snarky. the browns did a great thing for a kid and his family. just leave it at that.

  10. The sight of that little boy, with his little white pants and his little brown shirt and big orange helmet running out there with his little shoes and all those giant athletes cheering him on…I think that’s got to be the most adorable sight I’ve ever seen in my life.

  11. I was there. They had his mom telling the story up on the jumbotron and how such a little kid had a tumor the size of a football inside of him and how lifeless he looked in his photos through it all was heartbreaking. It puts everything into perspective again, but to hear the roar of the 24,131 that were there when he ran onto the field was very touching.

    Good Job Browns, your work in the community doesn’t go unnoticed! Let’s go get it! There is definitely a different vibe around this team this year, good things are coming.

  12. Hope for the best for the little guy. Stories like this always bring tears to my eyes thinking that this makes a little boys dreams come true…God bless for the Browns..

    A Patriots fan

  13. The kid has some burners! He was able to recover his own fumble and take it to the house! Hopefully he isn’t the starting back with Trent blocking against Buffalo. We’ll be in for some trouble! Praying for his recovery! As for the Browns, it’s a great story for a team that has had some bad luck this offseason in regards to their owner’s other business. Cleveland is a team on the rise and will be a force in the coming seasons.

  14. I would have let Richardson mow me over if it made it any more realistic, and special for the kid.

    Well, ok … not like I could stop him from doing it.

    Well done Cleveland.

    Please get well Ryan, you will be added to mine, and a lot of NFL fans prayers.

  15. Everyone should watch the youtube video of the Nebraska spring game when they did it.

    It brought tears to my eyes, and that takes a lot.

  16. I can’t believe that there are people on here going thumbs down on the positive comments. Compared to you, you make dog s@@t smell wonderful.

  17. I’m glad this happened in Cleveland (classy football town when appropriate). If this happened in New York they’d be whining that the defense couldn’t stop the kid and in Washington the story would be about how great RGIII’s hand-off was.

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