BLIND AND DEAF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER DEFIES THE ODDS

By the time he was in 4th grade, Marvin Pearson was completely blind and deaf. Fitted with a cochlear implant to help him with his hearing, this amazing young man never thought of letting his disabilities hold him back from accomplishing his goals.

Recently the young varsity football player sat down with Ellen DeGeneres on her show opening up about how “going deaf and blind at the same time when [he] was about 8 both mentally and emotionally matured [him] as a person.”

Pearson, as you read right, plays varsity football for Pottstown High School in Pennsylvania. Earlier in the season, in the final moments of the game, he scored his first touchdown!  “Now I realize, you know,” he began telling Ellen.  “it’s time for me to grow up. And it’s time for me to prove to the world—not just the people around me, not just the community within my circle, but to the world—all the people in the stands, in the crowd right now, it’s time to prove to you guys that people with disabilities can do anything that you can do.”

Pearson, who is a running back/quarterback for his high school team, has a lot of help on the field getting through obstacles. Teammates Draden Musso and Zack Griffin are his guides on and off the field.  Musso, Pearson's best friend, says that everyday with Pearson is a lesson. "It can teach people that no matter what you're going through, there is always another side to it. And you can do anything you put your mind to." Griffin, who is the Pearson's gridiron eyes and ears says, "I walk him up and down the field and I tell him everything that is going on. I want to make him feel like he is watching the game, like he knows exactly what is going on."

Pearson, a superfan of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, told Ellen that he admires Brees because he “proves everyone wrong.” The talented senior goes on to say that Brees is shorter than other league quarterbacks, but proved naysayers wrong by leading the league in passing.

Off the field, Pearson wrestles, plays ball, runs track, raps, and reads a lot. The teen boasts that he has "17 fantasy football teams."  So, what does this amazing young man have planned for after high school?  College of course. Pearson plans to attend either Temple University or Kutztown University to become a sports agent.

In true Ellen fashion, she surprises the young man with not only VIP guest passes to meet his hero Drew Brees and more of the Saints players she also announced that Shutterfly would be giving Pearson $10,000 towards college. When CBSPhilly asked Pearson's assistant principal and coach, Jeff Delaney, to sum up Pearson in one word, he responded, "alive". We couldn't agree more.

To see Pearson’s entire interview with Ellen, click on the video below.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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