There was one time when former local football star Dayvon Ross would stop at nothing to be in the NFL. However, his life journey took him to places football never could. His life will be chronicled in a docuseries, which will touch upon his upbringing in Los Angeles, his stint in the NFL, and his bout with cancer.
“I want people to know to never give up,” Ross said. “And I want people to know that helping people is what we’re put here for.”
Ross pursued a career in real estate that not only built wealth but also helped battle the ongoing homeless issue in Southern California.
“I feel like God has blessed me with a second lease on life and I travel the world now,” Ross said. “I own three buildings out in L.A., I own a building out in Lancaster.”
Ross was able to join a partnership in Lancaster to create low-income housing for unhoused individuals and people living with mental illness.
“I gave them a community where it’s like regular living,” Ross said. “It’s definitely something you will look at and you will think ‘this is so beautiful’ but it’s only for those types of people.”
Ross desires to get more properties to help people beyond Los Angeles County.
“I’m in the midst of making more of what I made,” he said. “Now that I got a lot of people’s trust and understanding, I want to build them all over the world.”
Ross worked hard to learn the fundamentals of real estate and built a strong support system.
“We need to be taught this stuff,” Ross said. “Growing up we think … I’m a Black, young man. I have to make it out on sports, I have to get a scholarship when it’s so much easier to go to school and learned this other stuff.”
Prior to starting his career in real estate, Ross battled and persevered through having Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a disease where the bone marrow does not create enough healthy blood cells.
During his time at training camp with the Tennessee Titans, a doctor noticed that his white blood count was low. He quickly traveled back to Los Angeles and was immediately admitted to the hospital.
“Literally the day before, I’m in training camp feeling good, thinking this is going to be my year,” Ross said.
After three days of running tests and a bone marrow biopsy, he was diagnosed with MDS. Ross endured the woes of chemotherapy; he noted how his mother was a key factor in his recovery.
“My mom had to put her life on hold just to take care of me,” Ross said. “She would pray over me, she’d have [her] pastor come and pray over me.”
Searching for a bone marrow donor was another challenge. After scouring through a worldwide registry and hosting a bone marrow drive at his mother’s church, they could not find a match. His final option was his father, who was a 50 percent match.
“Me and him, we didn’t have the best relationship,” Ross said. “That dude came through for me and saved my life and we’ve been tight ever since.”