Memphis QB Bonds With Cancer Patient

If you weren’t previously a fan of Memphis QB Jacob Karam or even knew who he was, you will be after you watch the video above and hear the story behind it.

On Monday, 11-year-old cancer patient Breanna Bercegeay approached Karam at the piano in the cafeteria of Target House at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where she’s being treated. Karam told CBS Sports he had visited the hospital approximately 10 times in the last year, so this was nothing new for him.

“Somebody said she wanted to sing,” Karam said. “She was very shy, I could tell, and she had the mask on. I asked, ‘What’s your favorite song?’ She said Price Tag [by Jessie J]. I didn’t know how it was going to go, but she started belting it out. I tried to figure it out on the key, started backing her up a little. She sang her heart out, and it sounded beautiful.”

This was no Memphis-organized outing for Karam, either. In fact, nobody in the Tigers athletic department knew about Karam’s visit to St. Jude’s or his piano accompaniment to Bercegeay’s song until the video for it went viral.

“That’s how I heard about it,” said Ron Mears, an assistant athletics director who oversees public relations for Memphis football. “Someone showed me the video.”

They weren’t the only ones caught by surprise. Until he casually mentioned to Bercegeay’s mother, Dara Bertucci, that he played football at Memphis, she thought he was just any other visitor stopping by to cheer the kids up on the piano.

“It’s not like he was sitting there bragging about football,” Bertucci said. “I had to get on Google and look him up. ... He didn’t tell us any of that. I think that’s what touches me most about the whole night. He wasn’t there for himself. He was there for us. He was there for Bree.”

Most offseason college football stories are about player arrests. This is a very welcome reprieve.


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