Just like Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, little Joseph Tidd makes his way through life with only one hand.
That’s why Joseph’s family — from Orlando, Florida — wanted the 16-month-old toddler to meet the NFL player who didn’t let his disability get in the way of his dreams, according to WKMG.
Griffin “is really an inspiration because he proves that you can overcome and you can do it,” Miles, the boy’s dad, told WKMG.
The pair had a touching meeting Saturday at a rehabilitation center in Jacksonville, Florida, according to TODAY.
Video shows the toddler sporting a Seahawks T-shirt when he first notices Griffin. Before long, Joseph is in the arms of Griffin and posing for a photograph.
Griffin says his goal is to inspire others so they can overcome obstacles in life, according to The Florida Times-Union.
“Now that I have a platform, I feel like I can do so much more,” he told the newspaper. “I want to use it to inspire others no matter what ailment it is, no matter how many limbs you have and no matter where you come from.”
Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome, which left his left hand deformed.
The condition “occurs when the unborn baby (fetus) becomes entangled in fibrous string-like amniotic bands in the womb, restricting blood flow and affecting the baby’s development,” according to AmnioticBandSyndrome.com.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the NFL player’s mom revealed a startling moment with Griffin when he was just four. The condition had left the young boy struggling with severe pain in his left hand, according to a page for the Saturday event.
“I got into the kitchen, he had a knife in his hand,” Griffin’s mom told Sports Illustrated. “He was getting ready to cut the digits off.”
He had his hand amputated that same year, as noted in the Sports Illustrated interview. But that didn’t stop Griffin from reaching the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick and playing alongside his twin brother, Shaquill, a cornerback for the Seahawks, according to USA Today.
Now, he hopes to start a chain reaction of love and support, he told The Florida Times-Union.
“If I can give that positive light to somebody,” Griffin said, “they’ll give that positive light to somebody else.”