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Bills Player surprises teens with a similar story to his own -- grieving through holiday

Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 05:42:53-05

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — It started off just like any other practice for the Niagara Falls High School Wrestling team.

Maybe…with just a few more cameras than usual.

“I thought it was something for the team. I thought it was just our school or something like that,” said brothers Javion and Jesiere Carter.

But then the team realized something was off when the whistle blew and in walked principal Cynthia Jones.

She immediately stopped practice and called two young men front and center — saying they needed to be confronted publicly for something

“I brought your father here,” said Principal Jones.

But, before telling the Carter boys what they had done, she stopped.

There was one more person who needed to be there for what was about to happen.

Neither of the brothers could have guessed who walked in the room next.

Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson arrived with a surprise for the family. He said he had heard about their story and wanted to get up to Niagara Falls to say a few words before he left to take on the Patriots in New England.

Just a few days ago…Jesiere and Javion along with their five brothers, two sisters, three step-brothers, and two step-sisters all faced an unimaginable tragedy.

Their mother died in childbirth.

It’s a story Lawson said he could relate to.

“It’s a similar story I had. I lost my dad in a car accident, so I know their pain, I know what they’re going through,” he said. “And I know each and every holiday it doesn’t feel right without your chosen one.”

He interrupted the practice for a few short minutes, bringing gifts and a few words of encouragement to the boys and the team.

“As a kid I used to get the same help from people at Christmas, and times like that. So I told myself if I ever had the platform to do it I’m going to do the same thing.”

It’s something the Carters say they’ll never forget.

“We are grateful for it. We really need this, it’s been hard. Real hard,” Said Jesiere.

“Seeing other people see you and all that and honor what you do, I think it was pretty cool.”