49ers DL Quinton Dial Will Be Playing for Fallen Fan in Home Opener

The top images of 49ers defensive lineman Quinton Dial, who enters his third NFL season after being a fifth-round pick in 2013.

Friday's Niners Daily covers defensive lineman Quinton Dial's pledge to dedicate the 49ers home opener to a fallen fan.

A recent article on AL.com by Mark Inabinett detailed a heartwarming story about Dial's connection to Alex Fernandez, a 20-year-old 49ers fan who lost his battle with brain cancer on July 10. The two became connected when Fernandez stopped his treatments to concentrate on a list of things he wanted to do before he died. On that list included seeing a 49ers game from Levi's® Stadium.

When it became unlikely that Fernandez would make it to the start of the season, the defensive lineman tried to do the next best thing. Dial, through his non-profit "QDKids," sent Fernandez a package consisting of 49ers swag: A team blanket, jerseys from quarterback Colin Kaepernick and linebacker Patrick Willis, an autographed football, caps and a poster. Dial signed a jersey himself and also included a video message for Fernandez.

Dial started "QDKids" with this mission: "To show love and support to underprivileged kids today so they will have the best opportunity to be our leaders of tomorrow."

On the non-profit's twitter page, Dial posted this message following Fernandez' passing:

"I want Alex Fernandez to know that he has made a difference in my life by sharing his story," Dial wrote. "He is my hero, and people like him encourage me to continue our work through our non-profit QD's Kids. I lead this non-profit in order to make 'moments' count for all children and adults who are combating challenges in their life. My first game is going to be dedicated to him for being a brave hero and for making a difference in the lives of others."

After a standout offseason program, Dial will continue to be a major part of the competition at defensive line during training camp and preseason. Whether Dial sees one snap against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 14 or plays the whole game, you can be sure Fernandez will be with him every step of the way.

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