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Davis ‘Blessed’ to Meet His Biggest Fan

Posted by Scott Kegley on October 24, 2009 – 12:41 PM


It was a dream come true for 13-year old Joseph Luna, who got to meet his favorite player, Vernon Davis, on Saturday.  Joseph was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma when he was just 5-years old and then at age 11, he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia.

Joseph had always wished to come to San Francisco to see his favorite team play, but as it turns out, he didn’t have to travel all that far.  While the 49ers were in town to play the Texans, Joseph and his family drove from Austin to Houston to meet Davis at the team hotel.

Davis walked over to a smiling Joseph who was surprised at the size of his football hero.

“He was telling me that he didn’t know I was that big,” Davis said.  “I put my arm up and he was amazed.  His grandpa put his arm next to mine and asked whose was bigger.”

Even bigger than Davis was the smile on Joseph’s face after the two began talking.  Shaun Hill, Frank Gore, Moran Norris and Glen Coffee also stopped by to see Joseph as well.

“Joseph has been a 49ers fan since as long as we can remember,” said José Luna, Joseph’s grandfather.  “Last year for his dog, we got him a leash and harness for Christmas.  We also got him a jersey with 85 on it.”

Joseph’s Chihuahua was actually the first member of the family that he was able to convert to be a 49ers fan.  Slowly but surely, the family of Cowboys fans has started to change allegiances.

“He’s been working on us forever,” Luna said with a smile.  “First he converted his dog.  He has a framed picture on his wall of the San Francisco helmet.  I think he knew that the beauty of it would convert us.”

Davis was pleased to hear of Joseph’s passion for his team.

“I thought that was a genuine thing that he could convert the whole house that was mostly Dallas fans,” Davis said.

While Joseph had a day that he will surely remember for a long time, the same can be said for the 49ers talented tight end.

“When you look at a kid like that and you start to think, it makes you feel for them because you don’t know how much time they have,” Davis said.  “All you want to do is embrace them and have love for them.”

102409-joseph-sub The two talked for several minutes as Davis gave Joseph an autographed hat, several photos and some field passes to come down and say hello before Sunday’s game against the Texans.

“Joseph’s always looked up to Vernon,” Luna said.  “A lot of us didn’t know who Vernon was.  Being from Texas, it’s hard to root for and follow players outside of the state.  I think that’s where Joseph has been such a good teacher to me because it’s not where you’re at, it’s where you want to be.”

Joseph taught Davis something as well.

“It makes me feel blessed,” Davis said. “It was honor for me to be able to come down here and see the little fellow after I heard about his situation.  It was meant for me to come down here.  I hope I was able to touch his heart because I heard he was a big fan of mine.  It was a blessing for me to be able to do this.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 44 Comments »

44 Responses to “Davis ‘Blessed’ to Meet His Biggest Fan”

  1. By shawn on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    Nice Story,Good JOB NINERS..I know that that kid really liked that.

  2. By Madmartz on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    This is the biggest thing that Davis has done as a 49er. Cudos to you Mr. Davis I am impressed for once. Who`d of thought it would be for something you did off the field though. Keep it up!

  3. By RSerda on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    This is good to hear. I am glad that even with a big game coming up the team took the time to give this kid his dream. This will be a day he will always remember. And hopefully it will be a day Davis and his teammates will remember as well.

  4. By Danielle on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    I thought that was so sweeet of vernon,and the rest of his team mates to pay a visit to Joseph who is fighting cancer,and leukemia!What great guy vernon is to make Joseph’s dream come true of meeting his fav player,some of the other team mates.Keep up the great work!


  5. By LordOfTheRingsstarringJimmyRaye on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    Great story. Made me misty.

  6. By D'rock on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    VD score a TD for Joseph :)

  7. By R Auci on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    VD85. Embrase and repect your hero status to the young lives like Joseph you touch directly and the 100x you’ll never meet. You have a special gift to give that will last beyond ftball. God bless this young man. Go 9ers!

  8. By Jeff on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    This just shows what type guy Vernon is becoming, very well rounded

  9. By SCrisp on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    its a good thing to see nfl player take time out of there busy schedule to come see these special kids. God Bless you Joseph and hopefully VD scores for you little guy!

  10. By jose on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    now thats cool i hope this makes da niners strong. just the thought of a kid fighting cancer thats a strong kid stay strong lil man hope da niners pull this one for u

  11. By VaBhodi on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    What a stand-up thing to do. I really think VD is getting it. The change in him as a player and a man is evident.

  12. By brian on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    class act guy,hope you score 5 TD’s against the texans

  13. By john jurado on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    nothing touches this ole dude but you scored a touchdown here.now score a few for boy.

  14. By ragomez3 on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    I am thrilled that Shaun Hill, Frank Gore, Moran Norris and Glen Coffee also took the time to show up. Starting QB, FB, RBs, WOW! Outstanding heart and character shown, guys. That is called winning in the game of life!

  15. By Andy Roman on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    That little guy is a hero to all Niner fans, Niners gotta win this for that little one. Thanks V.Davis for taking care of him and making his day you got heart we seen it many times, I can’t wait to see it in the field Go Niners and Go Lil Joseph!

  16. By SergioMartinez on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    Cheers Vernon! and Cheers to the whole team! I’ve been forever a Niners Faithful and I’m quite proud of this team this year. Yes we have had our downs and we have had our ups, but we need to remember the goals and we need to look up every down and up in this season and many more to go. Continue to grow in and out of the field and be sure that those goals will be reached. We cheering for you to go back to the top and I would like to see all of you wearing one of those amazing Superbowl rings! Cheers and kick some good butt tomorrow and show the world who the Niners truly are!

  17. By Ahmed Hosni on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    Hats off to Vernon and the rest of the guys for this!!! I love being a niners fan and this is awesome. I love the character of the guys we have in the locker room and it all started with coach nolan. I remember the first time i heard him say he was drafting high character people who could play football and i thought… hmmm. Things like this make me happy that he was a coach of ours and that we have a similar coach now.

  18. By Jawid Momand on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    vernon davis is one of the best football players on and off the field. hes a team leader. i wish i could meet him one day! i wish i could goto a football game. i never even seen candlestick in person. but this could joseph wont ever forget this day neither will vernon. go 9ers get us a win tommorow super bowl this year baby! super bowl!!!

  19. By E on Oct 24, 2009 | Reply

    Such a heartwarming story. What an incredible feeling to be someone’s hero and bring a smile to their face, just by showing up. Kudos VD.

    Struggling with a childs’ cancer diagnosis can devastate any family. If they/anyone else need support, try a program like this: http://www.genentechfoundation.com.

  20. By Vito on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    Vernon was named one of the teams captain’s prior to the opening of this season. It’s things like this off the field that define a captain.

  21. By MrGriz on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    I hope the next gift Vernon gives Joseph is tickets to see the 49ers play in the Super Bowl.

    Make it happen, VD.

  22. By Liberty_Mike on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    This goes out to show what a class act Davis has become. The guy has become an all around great guy. Glad to see what a great influence SIngletary has had on him. Cheers to Davis!

  23. By Lewis on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    Even though the 49ers didnt win VD still scored 3 times!!!! GOOD STUFF!

  24. By Becky Dillard on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you so much for doing this for Joseph. He is a very special boy to us, and making one of his dreams come true will never be forgotten.

  25. By David Malone on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    I had the pleasure of being with Joseph all weekend, and got to personally see how the 49er organization responded to this last minute request on Joseph’s behalf. They jumped through hoops to make this a very special weekend for Joseph. What a class organization! Vernon Davis visited with Joseph and his grandparents for more than a few minutes – more like 20. He was wonderful with Joseph! Vernon committed to Joseph that he would wear Joseph’s green cancer bracelet during the game. And he did! That made Jospeh’s day to see Vernon score three TD’s wearing his braclet! This attitude and care was exhibited from the top to the bottom of the 49er organization. Joanne Pasternack coordinated an overnight care package earlier in the week to Joseph that contained a personal letter and autographed 49er hat from Vernon. Mike Chasanoff made the “Meet & Greet” with Jospeh possible at the hotel and also on the field before the game. And then to top it all off, Mike Singeltary (the best Texas has to offer as a head coach, role model, and winner) stopped and wished Joseph well on his way out of the tunnel before the game. What an incredible organization, and I agree, it all starts at the top! Keep up the great work. I’m a life long Texan with an adult son that picked the 49ers as his favorite team when he was 6 years old. Guess why? Because of Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and the class organization behind them. My sincere and heart felt thanks to the 49ers and their fans for creating and supporting an organization that encourages great role models for young kids. You guys are great, and a victory today would have been the icing on the cake. Joepeh loved watching Vernon have a career day, and he, along with his grandparents and myself left the stadium great admirers and fans of Vernon Davis and the 49ers organization! My best wishes to you the rest of this season. Go Niners!!!

  26. By Kevin on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    I bet that little guy lit up when he saw his hero VD score 3 times! Lets hope Vernon keeps up the motivation and helps this team get back to winning!

  27. By jamie garcia on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    that was nice of vd #85 and put 3 tds for joseph to bad couldnt win tho great job

  28. By jamie garcia on Oct 25, 2009 | Reply

    great job vd 85 for taking some extra time and visiting the little guy joseph made his day you got 3 tds for him but too bad we lost.

  29. By Rusty Pence on Oct 26, 2009 | Reply

    Hats off to Vernon Davis and the 49er organization. I have known of Joseph and his struggles for years through mutual church organizations. He is a tough little man, and I stress the word “man”. It warms my heart to see Vernon Davis take the time to make his dream come true. Vernon, you have another fan in Austin,TX. Thanks for helping Joseph live his dream!

  30. By Raymundo Rodriguez Torres on Oct 26, 2009 | Reply

    Gerat job Vernon I´m sure you thnk on him wen you score Go niners the best players on and off the field.

  31. By amy on Oct 26, 2009 | Reply

    Maybe that’s why Vernon scored 3 TDs on Sunday!!! What a heart warming story… I am proud of you Vernon, and the rest of the guys, too… and Joseph… what a smart kid… knowing to switch from the Cowboys to the Niners!!!!!!

  32. By Renee Mauzy on Oct 26, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you so much to Mr. Davis, his team members and the management of the 49ers for making a special young man’s dream come true. You created a memory that will last for a long time for lots of people. Reading about what you did reminded me of how important it is to take time in life to lift up others. Y’all sure did that!

  33. By Mary Ellen Sullivan on Oct 27, 2009 | Reply

    Blessings and cheers for you and your team members for taking time to visit Joseph Luna.
    I am sure Joseph and his strength blessed you just as he continues to bless those around him. He and his grandparents are very special people. Thank you for caring. God bless you all.

  34. By superduke420 on Oct 28, 2009 | Reply

    That is awesome that a busy NFL team can take the time to give a kid who is in an unfortunate situation the most exciting thing he has ever been a part of. The fact that an 11 year old boy has gone through 6 years of pain and misfortune and is still a happy and excited individual shows not only great strength but even greater character. Joseph Luna you are my hero and i wish everyone had the strength and courage you possess. And it’s even better that he is converting a household of cowboys fans to niner fans.

  35. By Stacie Tong on Oct 29, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks to all those for making such positive comments about this story. Joseph is my cousin’s stepson and he truly is a thoughtful, sweet, and generous child. He was very deserving of this visit and I am so happy for him that it was arranged. Thanks superduke420 for your comments. He really is a hero and a terrific kid. :)

  36. By JOHNNY LUCERO on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply


  37. By Debbie Autry on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply

    Joseph and his family have been near to the hearts of many people here in Austin. Lots of love and lots of prayers from lots of folk. Thanks Vernon and the 49ers for now being part of our team. Good job!

  38. By Statniner on Nov 8, 2009 | Reply

    Rest in Peace Joseph Luna.

  39. By Joe-Niner on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    Having not met little Joseph or his family, my heart and prayers go out to all those mourning his passing (including me, after following this story from the start). To the family: Regardless of which team you root for, know that you now have extended family here in the Bay Area in the form of many thousands of fans whose hearts were touched by Joseph’s love for Vernon and the team, but even more for his fighting spirit, sweetness and bravery through the toughest battle of them all. You are in our thoughts and prayers and we know once the San Francisco 49ers reach the playoffs, Joseph will have a better seat than any of us. Please don’t lose touch. Love, peace and comfort to you all.

  40. By sorrowful on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    Our brave little Joseph lost his courageous battle on November 6th. His funeral was today in Austin. Among the personal items displayed behind his casket was jersey #85. A touching moment for all of us in attendance was a statement from Veronon Davis which was read at the service.

    We are so saddened to lose this precious boy but joyful that his life touched so many and that he was able to meet his hero before he died. Thank you, Mr. Davis for making this wonderful boy’s dream come true.

  41. By sorrowful on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    I apologize for misspelling Mr. Davis’ name in my post. Also, the funeral was yesterday, the 9th. I posted this after midnight here in Texas so it is showing up as the 10th. It has been a very hard day.

  42. By Joe on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    I met Joseph Luna last year in October. My son has (had) the same form of cancer as him and we met on a private jet to NYC for treatment. He was a great kid he had the biggest smile. His family was wonderful, and we just got the news of his passing today. I am devastated by this news, but a part of me is glad to see that he got to meet his favorite players before his passing. He was the strongest person I have ever met. May you now rest in peace, Joesph.

  43. By gramps on Dec 28, 2010 | Reply

    I thank everyone who has been and will always be a part of Joseph, your kind, caring and loving words are uplifting to our family,I thank our GOD for the blessing of meeting so many wonderful Persons,as tears flow down my face I somehow am able to smile at how Joseph Loved everyone he met .Vernon and the 49ers are and will always be so much a part of our lifes as was Joseph, So many Great people in this world that can become real heros in your life just listen and watch your children and they will show the way ,with their profound and sincere hearts. Vernon, Joanne, Mike. David ,Highlandpark and so many more have been put on the Wall of our hearts which is our “Heart Of Fame”. ‘The Lord has ,is and will Be Our Shepard’

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