Mercer Islander Chris Givan meets Shaquem Griffin on Aug. 30. Photo courtesy of Laurie Givan

Mercer Islander Chris Givan meets Shaquem Griffin on Aug. 30. Photo courtesy of Laurie Givan

Young Islander meets Seahawk inspiring kids with limb deficiencies

Rookie Shaquem Griffin is changing the game as the first one-handed player in the NFL.

Chris Givan, an Islander and son of Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce Director Laurie Givan, had a chance to meet a professional athlete with whom he shares a special similarity.

One of the newest Seattle Seahawks, linebacker Shaquem Griffin, became the first one-handed player in the NFL this year. He was born with amniotic band syndrome, and had his left hand amputated when he was four years old.Chris was born without his lower right arm.

Chris went to a camp in August through an organization called NubAbility Athletics, and they went to the last Seahawks preseason game on Aug. 30. The kids got to go on the field before and after the game, Laurie said, and Griffin came out and talked to, signed shirts for and took pictures with them.

“It’s was a pretty amazing experience for Chris and I’m sure all the other kids as well,” Laurie said. “Shaquem is really changing the way people think about people born with limb deficiencies.”

Critics thought that Griffin wouldn’t get drafted this year, let alone play in a game. But after impressing at the NFL combine and in the preseason, Griffin started for the Seahawks alongside his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, on Sunday. The Seahawks lost 27-24 to the Denver Broncos in their season opener.

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