Manuel family strengthened by values, faith

E.J. Manuel from Florida State University stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being...

E.J. Manuel from Florida State University stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Buffalo Bills as the 16th overall pick in the 2013 National Football League Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York, April 25, 2013. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:56 PM ET

NEW YORK - When Jackie Manuel found out late last summer she had breast cancer, she worried.

Not so much about her own fate.

But about how on earth she’d go about informing her son, Erik James Manuel Jr. — more commonly known as E.J., the only quarterback selected Thursday night in Round 1 of the NFL draft (by the Buffalo Bills).

“Honestly, when I got my diagnosis, E.J. was the last one in the family to know because we just didn’t know how we could tell him,” Jackie Manuel said in a phone interview on Friday morning from her Manhattan hotel room.

Yes, the Virginia Beach-based Manuel family, including husband Erik Sr. and 26-year-old daughter Amber — a former collegiate athlete in her own right — is indeed that tight.

After finally being informed, E.J.’s reaction to the potentially tragic news on the eve of his senior season at Florida State University speaks so much, not only about the impressive young man, but about the ways in his parents raised him.


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