On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2015, I was sitting in the front of my rented SUV in Miami Gardens with my two little cousins and their dad in the back of the truck. We were waiting for my friend, and I was looking at my phone when a car pulled up and shot at us 30 times. My cousin jumped on his kids and shielded them. He was shot 11 times in the process. I was shot twice in my head. My skull was shattered, and my career as a wide receiver with the St. Louis Rams ended.
Even though I lost my football career, I consider myself a walking miracle. I lived, and I don’t take my fate for granted. It is my calling to share my story and to encourage young people to make good life choices. I started a lifestyle brand, Postive Energee+, that promotes mental wellness, physical fitness, personal goals, spiritual balance, and emotional fortitude. As part of that work, I speak about gun violence prevention whenever I can and tell young people to remember that each of us has the responsibility to be the change you want to see in this world.
I’ve suffered with PTSD, depression, and seizures, but when I look at myself in the mirror, I gain strength from what I see and what I have done with my life since I was shot. I have a few people who I grew up with who lost their lives to gun violence – they don’t have a voice anymore. I speak for the people who are now voiceless, and I’m trying to help people make their lives better.