The University of North Carolina at Charlotte football squad is one of several affected by a little child. Devin Kiser died Tuesday after a six-year leukemia struggle. The bravest and most cheerful person I’ve ever met, said Will Healy, the head football coach. It was difficult to encounter a youngster like Devin and remain unchanged.
Healy said, When you do anything for a little kid or someone else in college football, it’s sort of a one-and-done transaction. It’s a happy tale. David stood out. Devin fought lymphoblastic leukemia for almost half his life. He got up three times.
In 2020, Devin joined the Charlotte 49ers football team, where he was welcomed as family. “It was never, ‘I fell like I need to do this.’ It was ‘I want to go do this, I want to see him, I want to be around him,’” Healy said. “Our players want to pray for him, our players want to ask how he’s doing. It was like he was one of us.”
D. Kiser Devin Kiser, 8, has transformed the lives of many, including the Charlotte 49ers football team. (WSOC) Dennis Murphy, founder of the non-profit Friends of Jaclyn, helped make the first connection to Devin. Their objective is to enhance the lives of children with brain tumors and cancer.
Healy said he hasn’t encountered parents or siblings like Devin’s.
“He puts things into perspective for a lot of us who think we have a lot of ‘life’s tough.’ Tough is Devin,” Murphy said. Of course, not every war is won. After a brief illness, Devin died at 4:55 a.m.
“The one moment to me that I remember more than anything is this past summer where he was learning to walk again … and he came in with his whole family to fall camp, was in a wheelchair,” Healy said. “As soon as he walked in the team room, he stood up out of a wheelchair and walked in the room.”
“We had Marcus Lattimore that came out our first year here, and I’ll never forget this quote. He said, ‘Suffering ceases to be suffering the moment you give it meaning,’” Healy said. “The purpose of telling the Devin story is about Devin. It’s not about what Charlotte football did for Devin. … I mean, he did a lot more for us than we could ever do for him.”