TomlinsonThen the Chargers cut Tomlinson. Keyes was presented a choice: Hang with the Chargers in San Diego, or visit Tomlinson with the New York Jets.
Keyes switched uniform allegiances and stuck with Tomlinson. In the latest chapter of ESPN's "My Wish" series, we can see Keyes picked a fine hero.
Keyes is unable to participate in sports beyond a game of catch because of congenital heart disease. He underwent his first open-heart surgery was he was 6 weeks old.
He visited Tomlinson last month at the Jets' headquarters in Florham Park, N.J. The day began when Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum signed Keyes to a ceremonial contract and escorted him to his stall in the Jets' locker room.
Keyes got to watch a minicamp practice, meet owner Woody Johnson, was asked by head coach Rex Ryan to break the huddle and got to mingle with the players in the locker room. Afterward, he played Tomlinson in a game of Madden.
"It made him feel very special," Keyes' mother, Stephanie Portee-King told ESPN.com. "Usually, he's always, like, 'I wish I could have one day like a normal child.' When LaDainian granted his wish, it was his one day of living like a normal child.
"He's very happy. And that's all he talks about, really. ... By LaDainian granting his wish and him being the person that he is, he made my son feel like he was a normal child for that one day. And I really appreciate that."