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  Niners Marquis Goodwin A Light Of Inspiration  
  ‘He Took The Time To Personally Visit Everyone At Easter Seals’:   September 19, 2019 Edition  
     BY JOHN A. DARNELL JR.
      associate editor
      Sports, they say, is a necessary ingredient in the democracy we call America. It allows fans to get their emotions out---cheer for their team and favorite players, and debate for endless hours how a game is played.
      Last week, the San Francisco 49ers came to town, staying at the Holiday Inn in Boardman, while holding practice sessions on the campus of Youngstown State University.
      To be sure, the Niners enjoyed a lot of Handel’s Ice Cream during their visit here. But they took their presence here to another level when the team made several appearances at local hospitals and social agencies.
      One visit was made to the Easter Seals Center on Edwards St. in Youngstown, and one particular member of the team, wide receiver Marquis Goodwin, uplifted adults at the Center’s day care program.
      When most of the team left the Center, Marquis stayed behind, personally visiting the some 30 adults who receive day care there.
      Among those he visited was 70-year-old Ron Mistovich of Boardman, a former noted art instructor at Youngstown State University, who is now battling Alzheimer’s.
      You see, shortly after he joined the Niners in 2017, Marquis and his wife lost their prematurely-born son due to complications during pregnancy. On Nov. 12, 2017, he caught his first touchdown pass of the season on an 83-yard reception.
      After beating one defender, he blew a kiss to the sky, and once in the end zone, he took a knee in prayer before falling to both knees, as his teammates gathered around him.
      Afterwards, Marquis revealed that he and his wife had lost their son in the early morning hours the day of the game.
      The loss of his son is not the only bump in the road Marquis had to deal with along his journey in life.
      He has a sister who was born with cerebral palsy.
      “I was so impressed with him,” Joyce Mistovich, Ron’s wife of 46 years said this week, noting “He really gets it. He took the time to personally visit everyone at Easter Seals. He has a heart of gold. It wasn’t about football so much, it was about giving everyone there some hope. His true character shined through.”
      Joyce Mistovich, who sits on the Board of Boardman Park Commissioners, understands what Marquis Goodwin has had to deal with in his life.
      In addition to providing care for her husband, she has an adult daughter who was born with retinopathy, and condition that makes her daughter, Joy, legally blind. Only recently she has received a device, a pair of glasses, that can help her see.
      “We move forward as a family,” Joyce says, noting “we are thankful for everyday. We don’t see these issues as an obstacle that prevent us from living, We enjoy life, and hope to inspire others in the same way.
      “For Marquis Goodwin to take some of his time to uplift others not as fortunate as he is, was so special. He helped to inspire us to move forward,” Joyce said, adding after visiting with her husband, Ron looked at the wide receiver and said, “Go Niners.”
      Well, the Niners left Boardman last week and went to Cincinnati where they stormed to a 41-17 victory over the Bengals, a win that left them at 2-0 for the first time since 2012 and looking very much like a contender.
      Jimmy Garoppolo tied his career high with three touchdown passes, Matt Breida ran for 121 yards, and San Francisco pulled off one big play after another while piling up 572 yards for the first time in seven years. The 49ers have opened with back-to-back road wins for the first time since 1989, when Joe Montana’s crew was coming off its second Super Bowl win over the Bengals.
      And, Marquis went unguarded for a 38-yard touchdown catch on their opening series.
      For Joyce Mistovich, she still recalls Goodwin’s visit to the Easter Seals.
      “I’m so glad I went there with Ron that day,” she said this week, “I had tears in my eyes.
     
      PICTURED: SAN FRANCISCO WIDE RECEIVER MARQUIS GOODWIN and his teammates visited the Easter Seals Center in Youngstown last week. He is pictured her with Ron Mistovich and his wife Joyce. “He is a special person,” Mrs. Mistovich said of Goodwin’s visit.
 
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