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What a Story - Shaun Johnson - Well played.....

maxta

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A cancer-stricken boy said: ‘Mum, let me die’. Then Shaun Johnson changed his life


If you ask the family of 12-year-old Jason Braniff, Cronulla star Shaun Johnson changed their lives.
Jason returned home for the first time in nine months this week with renewed optimism after a devastating moment rocked him and his family’s world.

In March, Jason collapsed in the shower. After being diagnosed with leukaemia, he was flown 600 kilometres from his home in Griffith to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

Throughout the rounds of chemotherapy, Jason’s mother Sharon and father Greg tried to keep things positive, but their son was losing hope.

At one point before Johnson’s life-changing act, Jason had whispered to his mother: “just let me die, I don’t want to do this anymore”.

“He was in a really bad place. We’d never seen it before, we were just at a loss,” Greg said.

“I can still visualise it in my head like it was yesterday.

“He had his arms on the table with his head down and it just wasn’t him.

“Then Cronulla turned up with Shaun Johnson.”

Within an hour Jason was running around, once vacant eyes now dancing with life.

“We got our son back that night,” Greg declared.

It was a simple gesture from the Sharks and Johnson, a routine hospital visit, which Greg said changed his son’s life.

He described Johnson “running around like an idiot” with a sombrero on his head.

But it was what Johnson did next that left a lasting impression.

“I got quite emotional obviously,” Sharon explained.

“Shaun pulled us aside and I explained what was happening with our son … how he had given up a bit.

“He took his jumper off and signed it and gave it to Jason and said ‘keep the fight going mate, you’ve got this, I’m 100 per cent behind you’.

“It made me cry how he was so there with him.

“From then on Jason was like I’ve got this, I’m going to beat this.”

The signed jersey has featured in every single one of Jason’s YouTube videos since that day but is yet to make an appearance in the family washing machine, afraid the ink may fade along with the memories it holds.

“I’m not allowed to wash it because apparently if I wash it, it is going to rub his signature off,” Sharon laughed.

“His whole attitude changed until he went into round five of chemo and got a bit sick and losing the fight again.

“He was just like: ‘I don’t want to do this anymore, I’m just going to die, I want to give up’ and I told him to remember Shaun, he took that jumper off, he signed it and he gave you that jumper to keep going.”

Jason had heard the words of encouragement from his mother and father before. They have been there by his side the whole way.

But hearing it from Johnson was different.

“Things we had been saying to him were going through one ear and out the other,” Sharon explained.

“But when it came from Shaun it was like no I can do this, I am going to do this.

“This is somebody who doesn’t know me and he’s telling me that I can do this.”

Jason says he had never experienced anything like the support from Johnson before.

“That meant a lot because no one has done that for me before,” Jason said.

“He helped me put a smile on my face … it gives me a lot of strength knowing Shaun will be there with me.”

Johnson posted a video online apologising to the family after he was caught up preparing for his own wedding and unable to see Jason before he left for home.

“Jason just bawled, I bawled, Greg bawled watching that video,” she said.

“This guy has turned around and said Jason had an impact but I don’t think he realises how much of an impact he has had on Jay and our family.

“I was shocked how this little boy has inspired this grown up and yet this grown up has inspired this little boy so much as well.”

After nine months, Jason has made the six-hour journey home after recently going into remission.

He hopes to continue mountain biking when he gets home as well as posting gaming reviews on his YouTube channel.

His parents return prouder than ever.

“People don’t reveal their true nature until they endure adversity and I’m just so proud of Jason because he’s had some really bad days and weeks and he’s still always asking people how they’re going,” Greg said.

There will still be regular check-ups though as the journey is still not over.

“I’m overwhelmed because I get to take him home but I’m very scared at what the outcome will be,” Sharon said.

But she also knows that no matter what the future holds, even six hours away, she can always point to the signature on Jason’s jersey and Johnson’s heartfelt words imprinted in his mind.

“There’s no words in the dictionary to exactly express how wonderfully grateful I am for what he has done for us,” she said, her voice faltering.

“I don’t know if we would still be here, going home with our son healthy and happy, if those guys did not walk into Ronald McDonald House that day and have that bond with him.”
 

The Wheel

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Great story, and yes what a great effort by Shaun and the Sharks.

This type of stuff is happening across all clubs (inc. AFL, cricket, Aleague etc) all the time yet the arse clowns in the media prefer to fill their pages with bubblers and fabricated contract stories
 

HappilyManly

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The power of belief :rock:

#Manly2020Premiers :rofl:
 

bob dylan

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Pretty sure SJ is a regular doing these sort of visits, and going the extra mile.

The fact he has made a massive difference to this family is simply amazing.

A true legend.
 

globaleagle

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Good one to SJ and I hope the little 'un makes a full recovery. (obv).
 

rmd

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What a fabulous story,

Monna's was a great one for that when he was playing at Manly and in fact, our club takes great pride in players visiting kids in hospital and even adults and people in distress. All clubs do it and insist their players do it, it's just not a story to 'sensationalise' (now there's a new word) for the press.

Buzz...(or any other journalist) if you read this, how about a great article on what most of the players do for the community and how they contribute, rather than what the minority do (or are accused of doing). It may not sell more newspapers, but it will endear parents to the sport and their kids. In fact, it might even endear them to you as a journalist.
 

HoldenV8

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Beyond football and which club someone may play for, if one act of kindness from a player has helped a 12 year old kid suffering from leukaemia to get his zest for life back then more power to them I say.

Players are human themselves regardless who they play for. Different things touch people in different ways.

Well done Shaun Johnson and I hope that Jason Braniff can go on to lead a long, happy and healthy life.
 

Eagle of London

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This type of stuff is happening across all clubs (inc. AFL, cricket, Aleague etc) all the time yet the arse clowns in the media prefer to fill their pages with bubblers and fabricated contract stories
Just to clarify when's the last time you sat down to watch the 6pm news that had a good story? Sure you get the odd ' koala saved' and ' itsnt that nice ' story but the sad reality is people are more likely to watch bad news and shake their head than spend an hour watching positive stories. We like to be shocked.

Not saying it's right but it is reality.
 

niccipops

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Great story.
Good on you Shaun Johnson. Class act.
Keep fighting the good fight little Jason.
 

nightster

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Just to clarify when's the last time you sat down to watch the 6pm news that had a good story? Sure you get the odd ' koala saved' and ' itsnt that nice ' story but the sad reality is people are more likely to watch bad news and shake their head than spend an hour watching positive stories. We like to be shocked.

Not saying it's right but it is reality.
I gave up watching the news ... its just another crap entertainment show ... I dowatch SBS World News sometimes ... and the ABC
 

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