Saturday, August 2, 2014
Texans honor David Quessenberry
By Tania Ganguli
A few days ago, as he recovered from cancer treatment at his family home in southern California, Texans offensive tackle David Quessenberry called the team's video manager with a technical question.
He needed to make sure his tablet was working properly. He wanted to watch film of the practices he was missing.
The Texans are still very much on his mind. And just as much as they are, he's on their minds, too. That was never more clear than Saturday morning when every Texans employee not in uniform, starting with head coach Bill O'Brien, wore a T-shirt with a logo that said "Texans for DQ."
Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry was diagnosed with cancer in June.
What seemed like a simple gesture actually meant so much more. With that concerted effort, the team launched a fundraising project. They'll sell the T-shirts through their official store with a portion of the proceeds going to the Lymphoma Research Foundation in a donation in Quessenberry's name.
"To be able to ... see it all come to fruition with the shirts, it just means the world to DQ," Texans center Chris Myers said. "I was talking to him last night. He's obviously ecstatic he's got tremendous support from the organization.
"I think it just speaks volumes about what he means to us. The impression that he made on us before everything happened with the diagnosis. He's a great guy. Great character guy. Works his butt off out here. Throughout all last year coming back from the (foot) injury and trying to get into the lineup this year. Then obviously he got that news. Right when it happened he's had the utmost support from everybody."
Quessenberry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins T lymphoblastic lymphoma on June 3. Some shortness of breath during a practice led to further testing, which revealed the sometimes fatal illness. The news devastated his teammates, especially those closest to him such as left tackle Duane Brown. It wasn't easy for Quessenberry, either, but he rarely let that impact his attitude.
"His spirits are already high," Brown said. "He's already been very optimistic, got his mind made up that he's going to fight this thing."
Almost immediately, Myers began devising a plan to raise money and awareness for Quessenberry's illness. He's worked with a local company called Running Game Clothing on fundraising efforts in the past, once to raise money for Operation Smile, a charity that helps provide surgeries for children born with cleft lips and palates. It was a natural partnership.
Myers wanted Quessenberry involved, too. Quessenberry helped pick the final designs for the shirts.
The team unveiled the shirts during Saturday morning's open practice. The Texans are asking fans who buy them to wear them to the team's final open practice of training camp on Aug. 14.
"It's great to see all the coaching support, everyone around the organization," Brown said. "Hopefully we can get some people to buy them, to wear them in the stands. It does a lot for me, it does a lot for the team, for the organization and it would mean the world to him."
Two months ago, Myers and Quessenberry were roommates when they attended guard Ben Jones' wedding. Neither of them knew about the disease that had already started invade Quessenberry's body. That diagnosis came the following week.
As he recalled that weekend after practice today, Myers smiled.
"It makes you realize how important life is," Myers said. "We're out there practicing on this field. I'm sitting here staring at this NRG stadium. It's pretty cool you get to play in the NFL. And he's out there battling cancer. So as much as we can do for him, we're going to do."