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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin is determined to inspire the next generation of kids with disabilities to chase their dreams.

For children like a little Seahawks fan named Joseph, who is missing part of his left arm, just meeting Griffin can show them that the sky is the limit for their own futures.

The two shared a heartwarming moment on Saturday when Joseph was introduced to Griffin, 23, during a visit to the Brooks Rehabilitation Center in Jacksonville, Florida.

Griffin, who had his left hand amputated as a boy, greeted the little boy with a big smile and open arms. The shy kid needed a little nudge, but eventually shared a sweet moment with a player who has overcome some long odds.

The visit marked a return to the state where Griffin was a college star at the University of Central Florida before making history when he was selected by the Seahawks in the fifth round of last year's NFL Draft.

Griffin had his left hand amputated when he was 4 after being born with a rare condition known as amniotic band syndrome, which prevented his fingers from growing properly.

Griffin greeting the little fan. The 23-year-old, who had his left hand amputated as a boy, just finished his rookie season in the NFL. Brooks Rehabilitation

The pain was so intense that Griffin's mother caught him with a knife ready to cut his hand off, she told Sports Illustrated. That frightening moment prompted the decision to have his hand amputated, and he's never looked back.

He wowed scouts at last year's NFL combine in Indianapolis when he did a remarkable 20 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press using a prosthetic left hand and then he went out a day later and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded for a linebacker at the NFL combine.

Brooks Rehabilitation

That resulted in him being selected by the Seattle, where he was reunited with his twin brother, Shaquill, who is a cornerback for the Seahawks.

Shaquem finished with 18 tackles as a rookie this season and saw action in every game.

"I don't even like hearing words like (handicapped),'' he told Craig Melvin on TODAY last year. "Because if you got a disability or a handicap, that means you're limited to certain things. And I don't feel like I'm limited to nothing. I can do anything anybody else can do."