They show up in their wheelchairs, beaming as soon as they see their cousin.
Byron Murphy, a standout football player at Scottsdale Saguaro and the No. 1 recruit in Arizona’s senior class, engulfs them with love.
Justin and Kianna White, who were born with a rare form of dwarfism, are at the center of Murphy’s universe.
Everything he does, he does for them.
And everything they do, they do for the guy they call “BJ.”
On Thursdays, Murphy prays for his cousins as they go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for their weekly medication for Morquio syndrome, a rare, inherited, progressive disease.
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Once a week for two years, they traveled to Oakland to take part in the experimental drug that is now approved and allows them to travel locally for it.
It can’t reverse the syndrome, but they hope that it can prolong their lives.
On Fridays, Justin and Kianna bring signs, wear special-made Byron Murphy T-shirts and headbands, cheer for BJ.
Murphy has given them a lot to cheer for this season, on his way to another All-Arizona season with 52 catches for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns, along with three interceptions, in eight games. Last year, he had 65 catches for 1,348 yards and 13 TDs, helping the Sabercats go 14-0 and win the state championship. All the while, his cousins were first to celebrate with him on the field after victories.
“All three of them have a special bond,” said Darla Harrison, the mother of Justin and Kianna. “Justin and Kianna love BJ. BJ is lucky to have them, but they’re lucky to have BJ.”
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