ETX student donates Manziel-autographed football to help sick te - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ETX student donates Manziel-autographed football to help sick teenager

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VAN, TX (KLTV) -

A stranger's act of kindness could mean promising changes for a sick East Texas 14-year-old.

Dylan Sims and Byron Jones don't even know each other, but one boy's gift could be a life saver for the other.

Byron has leukemia. He said, "When I found out, it was surprising. But then I just got used to it. I mean, it's hard..."

He found out in January and had to leave school. Now he has to get regular costly chemotherapy, bone marrow and blood transfusions.

"I drive to Dallas every Thursday to get chemotherapy, and if I need blood or anything, I do that," he said.

Van Jr. High School has rallied behind Byron. The students started collecting donations, selling t-shirts and bracelets, and having a silent auction.

Dylan found out about that silent auction.

"He said they were looking for something to give to him to raise money... he had mentioned the ball and I thought that would be a great idea," Dylan's dad, Greg Sims, said.

Dylan, who is an 8th grader in Lindale, decided to donate his Johnny Manziel-autographed football to the silent auction.

"It felt good, because if I was in that spot, I would want someone to do that for me, too," Dylan said.

Dylan knows the costs and the pain. "Well, my granddad has cancer, too, and is going through chemo and he's been through radiation. He's finally starting to get a little better, but it's still there," he told us.

Dylan's father couldn't be more proud. "We're proud of him. He's a good kid; I think we'll keep him around."

If you would like to bid on the Manziel-autographed football, e-mail Paige Redmond at redmondp@van.sprnet.org. The auction begins on Monday, February 18, and ends on February 25. All proceeds from the silent auction and other donations will go to pay for Byron's medical costs.

You can also donate to Byron at Texas Bank and Trust. Just go to any Texas Bank and Trust and donate to the Byron Jones fund.

There will also be a blood drive for Byron at the Van Jr. High gymnasium on February 26 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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