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November 29, 2013
EJ Manuel talks about Scoring For Good
It’s been a big year for EJ Manuel
Since last Thanksgiving, he’s led Florida State University to an ACC title and an Orange Bowl win, graduated from college, been selected in the first round of the NFL draft as the first quarterback overall, moved to a new city, established himself in the Bills starting quarterback role, and led his team to dramatic victories in a new era of Buffalo football.
He’s also watched his mother battle and overcome cancer.
And among all those milestones, among all those achievements, her survival is what he’s most thankful for.
“I’m thankful for my mom’s health,” said Manuel, without hesitation. “That’s the biggest thing I’m thankful for. Family. I’m just thankful for life. I think my mom going through this really put life into perspective.”
In August of 2012, just as Manuel set out for a promising year as the quarterback of FSU, his mother Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer. There’s no easy way to cope when a parent is diagnosed with cancer, but it’s certainly no easier when you’re competing on the national scale, expected to play without missing a beat on the football field.
“Obviously I had a lot of responsibilities and I’d already graduated but I had a full season ahead and at Florida State you’re expected to win each and every Saturday,” he said. “Beyond that pressure you still have your mom and her health. But she helped me out a lot because she always sounded upbeat when I talked to her. She was always positive about everything. She helped me probably more than I helped her.”