Local 7-year-old with sickle cell anemia honored by UR football team

Positively Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Spiders football coach Russ Huesman has his newest recruit, a very special one, and he didn’t have to go far to sign him. Inaias Dawson, a 7-year-old from Henrico, has sickle cell anemia but it didn’t stop him from joining the Spiders in a ceremony on Friday.

“I am excited because I am going to be on the team,” Dawson said.

Dawson’s mother, Indira Merritt, echoed those feelings from her son.

“He was really excited that he was going to be able have this opportunity. Football is one of his favorite sports. He has always wanted to go to college so this is a really good opportunity for him to see what it’s like,” Merritt said.

The signing is part of the efforts of Team IMPACT to brighten the lives of children with serious health problems. Huesman called Dawson “a true Spider fan.”

“We are excited to have him and just being able to get to know his family is going to be pretty neat,” Huesman said. “Sometimes it make you realize just how blessed you are as an athlete to be able to play college football, to be healthy enough to play college football. With things that are affecting their day-to-day life, I think it kind of slaps you in the face a bit and makes you appreciate what you have.”

Dawson will attend Spiders’ practice, games, team dinners and events.

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