PISCATAWAY, NJ - The Jets were on the banks Saturday night, using High Point Solutions Stadium as host of their Green and White scrimmage.
It was a great time for Jets fans to see the team's young quarterback Sam Darnold throw some passes during a loose game that had plenty of offense and no real defense (so no one got injured.) There were plenty of fans in Jets garb, as well as those dressed for Rutgers.
The Jets put together a few highlight-reel plays but none was more moving than Gio Toribio’s touchdown run.
Toribio, a 6-year-old pediatric cancer survivor from Ossining, N.Y., rushed for the score after taking a handoff from quarterback Josh McCown. He then celebrated with the entire Jets team, spiking the ball in the end zone.
Toribio has endeared himself to the Jets over the last year. Recently, The Athletic’s Connor Hughes documented the special relationship Toribio has with the team, especially linebacker Darron Lee. The two met in 2017 and now consider each other family.
“Darron chose to be a part of Gio’s life,” Lauren Toribio, Gio’s mother, told Hughes. “He didn’t have to be. He chose to accept him in his family. He genuinely loves him, and Gio loves him back. It’s amazing to watch.”
Toribio was diagnosed with Stage 3 anaplastic large cell lymphoma in August 2016. He was just 4 years old at the time. He beat the disease, though, completing his final round of high-dose chemotherapy in January 2017.
Lymphoma was not the only disease doctors discovered when Toribio was diagnosed. They also found that he has McCune-Albright syndrome, which makes his bones brittle. He is unable to play contact sports, including tackle football, because of it.
While that may be the case, Toribio got to experience his very own, special football moment Saturday thanks to Lee and the rest of his Jets buddies. The team was able to make a dream come true, something Toribio will remember for the rest of his life.