A Minneapolis native has quite literally risen from the ashes, being badly burned in a house fire at 4 years old to beating the odds and now on the verge of being honored in front of the nation at the 2020 ESPYS.
Taquarius Wair was given a 20% chance to survive after suffering third-degree burns to more than half of his body when his family's home caught fire on Mar. 22, 2005. Wair lost three fingers on his left hand.
More tragic in the blaze was the death of his 6-year-old sister.
Fifteen years later, Wair is coming off a season playing running back at Mesabi Range Community College in Virginia, Minnesota. According to ESPN, his goal is to play at a 4-year college.
His commitment to survive and succeed will see him presented with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at The ESPYS. The award is given to an athlete who has beaten the odds through perseverance and determination, according to ESPN.
Last August, the Minnesota Vikings honored Wair during a preseason game as that night's Hometown Hero, bringing Wair and his family onto the field to be recognized by the fans inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
The former Minneapolis North standout football player was also recognized at a national level in August, as ESPN told his story in a 7-minute segment of SC Featured.
Wair's mother told Vikings.com that her son "fought, and he's still fighting."
"He's never going to give up," she added.
The ESPYS will air on ESPN June 21 at 8 p.m. CDT.