Taquarius Wair, who overcame severe injuries in a fire and is now a running back for Mesabi Range College, will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at The ESPYS.
The award is given to a person in the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination.
Wair lost the fingers on his left hand when he was 4 after he was severely burned in a fire at his family home. The fire claimed the life of his sister, Shawneece.
“It is an honor to receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and humbling to be on a list with the previous recipients,” Wair said. “I use the phrase ‘Don’t give up’ in my life every day, and I will continue to do so in the fight for my dream.”
Wair, who spent a month in a coma, was given a 20% chance of survival by doctors. He underwent numerous medical procedures including skin grafts and reconstructive surgery.
Wair played high school football for Minneapolis North before attending Mesabi Range College, a community college with two campuses in Minnesota. Wair intends to play for a four-year college.
The Jimmy V Award is named after former NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 46 and died a year later.
The ESPYS help to raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The ESPYS will air June 21 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.
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