It's not necessarily the first place you would expect to see a college quarterback spending his spare time, but volunteering with patients at St. Jude is exactly where University of Memphis quarterback Jacob Karam wants to be.
"Being from a Lebanese family, we know Danny Thomas started St. Jude and pretty much our whole lives our parents taught us to support St. Jude," Karam said.
Two videos of Karam playing the piano with singing 11-year-old cancer patient Breanna went viral this week. Breanna's mother posted one clip on Facebook Monday evening while the other clip hit YouTube Thursday.
"I never would have thought this would happen," Karam said. "I really didn't even know the mom was video taping like that."
The Facebook video has since been shared more than 2,700 times and the YouTube clip has over 20,750 views within hours of being posted. Both videos have recruited thousands of new Tiger football fans.
Karam duets with Breanna at St. Jude
"It's cool. As a college football player we are put on a platform and to be able to use it for a positive cause is pretty cool," Karam said.
The senior signal caller has been playing the piano since he was a child. He has also been volunteering for more than a year with patients at St. Jude.
He never once mentioned he's a football player.
To the kids, he's simply a musician.
"Bottom line is, music just connects people in a special way," he said.
Listening to Breanna belt out the words to the song "Price Tag" by Jessie J. shows the special connection the 11-year-old Louisiana girl formed immediately with Karam.
"I thought she was shy. I was totally wrong," She's a very personable girl and she has an amazing voice and she loves to sing. "
Thanks to Karam, Breanna was able to forget about her illness for a while as she sat side by side with him, singing her heart out.
Still, he insists he doesn't deserve any recognition.
"It really was not about me at all," Karam said. "I didn't do anything special. I just did something I love to do. What I think is special about this whole thing is Bree and the rest of those kids over there, their attitudes, their spirits -- they have so much courage at such a young age, it's just amazing."
In the eyes of children like Breanna, Karam is amazing too. No matter how many wins or losses he chalks up during the 2013 football season, the man known as the musician will always have plenty of fans.
Karam's been nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which recognizes players for excellence in their communities.
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