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Video: Detroit Lions safety Tavon Wilson using tragic past to help youth overcome adversity

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The latest episode of “Under the Helmet” gives a personal look at Tavon Wilson’s tragic past.

Kansas City Chiefs v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions’ Emmy-Winning series “Under the Helmet” has quietly continued this year and featured such Lions players as Taylor Decker, Kerryon Johnson, Quandre Diggs (miss you) and Romeo Okwara. If you haven’t watched those yet, go back and do it. I promise it’s worth your time.

This week, Lions veteran safety Tavon Wilson is featured and hits several emotional notes. Wilson opens up about his passion for talking with inner-city kids. He uses his own experience, growing up without both parents, in the projects, in a situation he considers worse than most to let them know they aren’t alone and they can rise above their own circumstances.

“I just try to let them know that I’ve overcome those things and you can, too,” Wilson says.

Other topics include his charitable efforts to fight Lupus, his loving relationship with his two sons, TJ and Tyler, and the strength that he gets from his faith and his wife.

Specifically, Wilson talks about how his wife helped him get over his fear of swimming after he tragically lost his mother, who drowned in a pool when he was just 12 years old. That tragedy, along with growing up without a father, and his grandfather passing away shortly after he was drafted, caused Wilson to hold his emotions in.

“It was like a big barrier,” Wilson admitted. “It was something that was holding me back for a long time, and for her to come in and kind of break that barrier really opened me up in other ways and other avenues, and now I kind of see the benefit of opening up and spreading my wings a little bit and letting people in and letting those people really experience me wholeheartedly.”

You can watch the full episode below: