The Seahawks made history drafting the first NFL player with only one hand, and for many in the area despite how Shaquem Griffin plays, his story is already an inspiration and success.
Justin and Amanda Curtis on Saturday took their three kids to enjoy some ice cream together. From a distance the Curtis Family looks like any family but looking closely there is something unique about Justin and Amanda’s 3-year-old daughter Paisley.
“We found out at delivery that she was missing her left hand,” said Amanda Curtis.
The Curtis family says they were not prepared for this and did not know what to do. They say they were scared their daughter’s life would be limited by a disability.
They soon found out that would not be the case.
“She quickly blew our minds when she started crawling at 7-months-old,” said Curtis.
As Paisley grew up, the Curtis family found comfort within the community of people living lives with similar situations.
One person they discovered particularly inspiring Shaquem Griffin.
“For us it’s more than football -- it’s life,” said Justin Curtis.
The Curtis’ followed Griffin’s career at the University of Central Florida. They tell me when draft day came around, they were prepared they were prepared to root for him if he went to another team.
But on Saturday they found out Griffin would be coming home to their beloved Seahawks.
“He’s been a huge part of our life and he doesn’t even know it,” said Curtis.
And not just their lives, but the lives of many families dealing with similar situations.
“Teach them that anything is possible, and he just showed them it is. He just showed every single child anything is possible,” said Jenna Powell.
Powell is the founder of “Giving to Fly,” a group that helps amputees and their families continue to stay active; something very important to Powell and her family.
Powell’s son, Logan, was born without a tibia.
“He went under amputation at 11-months-old,” said Powell.
But that didn’t stop Logan. Logan plays baseball and football and says one day he wants to be in the NFL too.
Just like the Curtis family, the Powell’s look toward Shaquem Griffin as a source of inspiration.
“They should never quit, but what Shaq has done is show them don’t ever stop,” said Powell.
Despite how Griffin performs in the NFL, both the Powell’s and the Curtis’ see Griffin’s story already as a victory. But they’re also certain he is going to be a menace in the backfield for any offense who comes to Seattle this season.