A photo of a high school footballer is going viral globally and inspiring everyone who sees it! This is Taquarius Wair, and this is his incredible story!
Minnesota, United States of America – Janaye Johnson, a Minnesota Vikings in season photographer, met Wair while working at a football game. She was so inspired by him that she asked if she could photograph him and share his story with the world.
This is what she wrote:
“Taquarius Wair (TQ) is a senior at north high school.
When he was 4 years old, he woke up to his mother’s voice yelling to him and trying to guiding him through a smoke and fire filled bedroom. He made it out of the house to safety, but he then went back into the burning house.
Although he can’t quite remember why he went back, he believes he may have been trying to help save his older sister.
TQ, his mother, and two siblings made it out, but the fire claimed the life of his older sister that night.
TQ suffered 3rd-degree burns over 55% of his body, with some of the burns going to the bone. The doctors gave him a 20% chance of survival. He spent over 4 months in the hospital, one of which he was comatose. He endured countless surgeries and skin grafts and ended up losing much of his left hand and foot in the fire – but he’s never let that slow him down.
He loves playing basketball and football; which is where I first met TQ.
While I was photographing North Minneapolis football games, TQ quickly stood out as a major playmaker on the team. He was later awarded the “This is why we play” award.
Despite how good he is and how much he enjoys the game, TQ almost didn’t play football his senior year. Feeling defeated with always being underestimated due to his disability, he felt he would never get the shot he deserved and desperately desired. But then in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks signed Shaquem Griffin.
Shaquem Griffin is an amputee with only one hand.
TQ instantly related to Shaqueem’s story, and it gave him the hope and inspiration he needed, and so, he decided he would continue to play football one last year. Which is a good thing, because he recently committed to play football at Mesabirange College next year!!
TQ is a true inspiration to me, and I’m so happy he let me photograph him and tell his story!
Huge shoutout to Shaquem Griffin for inspiring soooo many kids, including T.Q. Wair!”
Check out the full photo below: