Duke football team bands together for brother of Shaquille Powell


Sports teams become family and family looks out for each other. So when one of your own needs help, you step up and do all you can. This philosophy couldn’t be any more true for the Duke football team and community as they band together to help the little brother of starting running back Shaquille Powell. 

More from Duke Football

On September 10, 2014, Powell’s six year old brother, Malachi Briggs, went to Urgent Care and doctors found a tumor in his kidney. Two days later Briggs underwent a surgery in which doctors deemed the tumor too large to remove as it had engulfed his kidney, traveled to his lungs and possibly other regions.

He began his 40 week treatment plan on September 14, 2014, which includes chemo and radiation. Although this news alone is tough for any family to face, Briggs’ family must hurdle an additional obstacle, the financial aspect of it all. Due to a payment error (which is being appealed) Briggs was without insurance in September and will also be without it in October.

Briggs’ mom, Skarlet, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her young son’s treatment. In addition, Briggs will be taking $5 donations for “Team Malachi” Child Cancer Awareness Bracelets to help offset lost wages as his mom will take off work to be by her son’s side throughout his treatment.

Skarlet wrote on GoFundMe, “the blessing in all of this is that his pathology report came back confirming that his type of tumor is a Wilm’s Tumor, and the prognosis is the best in regards to child cancer due to the embryonic tissues cells this type of cancer is made of being highly receptive to treatment.”

Powell’s teammates, including running back Joseph Ajeigbe and offensive lineman Cody Robinson, took to social media hoping to help raise funds and garner support. The family set a goal of $20,000 and thanks to the efforts of people like Ajeigbe and Robinson, over $8,000 was raised in the first day.

Tuesday afternoon Skarlet posted an update, sharing her overwhelming gratitude for all of those who have helped. She also mentioned Briggs was able to see Powell in Miami this past weekend, which was very special as it was the first time big brother had seen little brother since his diagnosis. Another event keeping Briggs in a positive mood, he celebrated his 7th birthday on September 29th.

For more information on how to help please visit http://www.gofundme.com/f73zjc which has been approved by the NCAA and Duke compliance.