Bills running back Jehuu Caulcrick, who led Clymer High School to four consecutive Section VI Class D championships and is Western New York's all-time leading rusher with 6,559 career yards, including 2,161 yards and 28 TDs as a senior, is no stranger to the Western New York community.
Even with all of his accolades, including an impressive collegiate career at Michigan State University where he is second all-time in rushing touchdowns (39) behind only Lorenzo White (43), Caulcrick has made giving back to youth a priority in his life.
On February 22nd, Caulcrick visited with young patients and their families on the Surgical and Oncology Floors at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. He also was given a tour of the area by one of the Child Life Specialists at the hospital.
"Since I am in Buffalo for the offseason, I want to give back as much as possible," said Caulcrick. "A lot of these kids and their families are having some tough times and if by me making a visit into their room for a few minutes helps, then that's great. My thoughts go out to all of the families that I met today and I hope that everyone has a speedy recovery."
Caulcrick was introduced to seven-year old Emmanuel who is referred to as the "Mayor of the Hospital." Emmanuel knows all of the nurses and doctors on that floor and is very friendly to everyone around. Emmanuel took Jehuu's hand from room to room and helped introduce him to each individual family.
After the visits around the Oncology Floor, Emmanuel challenged Jehuu to an air hockey game. Jehuu came out with a 2-0 lead but ultimately, Emmanuel won 3-2.
"My time with Emmanuel was great," said Caulcrick. "We talked about his love for dogs, his favorite show Phineas & Ferb, and how he likes to decorate his room. He even showed me his picture that he got taken with Arthur (Moats) back when he visited the hospital in September. He remembers everything, so I really hope that I was as memorable as Arthur was! We hung up the picture that I gave him right next to the picture of him and Arthur."
Caulcrick was born in Liberia and while living there a civil war broke out. His father, who was a politician and security chief for the Liberian secretary of state, was assassinated during the war when Jehuu was only eight. For two years, Jehuu and his family were on the run going from refugee camp to refugee camp before they could obtain visas to come to America and join his mother, Bonita, who had moved to the U.S. years earlier. During that time, he saw his adopted brother killed and his grandfather shot in the leg (he survived).
Jehuu said that coming to America was, "A new beginning for me. I had the opportunity to come here and start my life over."
Caulcrick has his degree from MSU in sociology and has a deep desire to provide help to refugees, much like he was when he was younger. He has been volunteering his time in Lansing, MI, to the Refugee Development Center since he was a sophomore in college. His ultimate goal is to start a non-profit center of his own.
"I go in there to put on fundraisers to raise money for the development center so the kids can get an education and help their parents as well," said Caulcrick.
Jehuu is also going back to Liberia this summer to do a football camp to introduce American football to Liberian children.
"I didn't know what football was until I came to America," said Caulcrick. "I just want to give back and teach the kids something new."