PLANO (CBS/DFW.COM) – A Plano teen battling a rare form of cancer gets help from an unlikely source.
Controversial quarterback Johnny Manziel, who’s currently facing a domestic violence charge and was recently released back in March by the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, is using his fame and status to aid a fellow Texas A&M Aggie.
Just two days before her Freshman year at TAMU, Shelby Smith, 18, was hit hard.
“Why would God do this to me? I haven’t even started school yet, this is a new beginning,” said Smith.
The Plano native discovered she has Olfactory Neuroblastoma.
“I just feel so bad. No parent should ever have to have such a burden on them like that and I didn’t want to be a burden to my parents,” said Smith.
Smith started a GoFundMe to cover her medical bills and her parents travel.
The account was going as expected until one night ago while she was in her dorm with her roommates.
“One of them runs into my room and she was screaming and she was like, ‘Oh my gosh! Johnny Manziel posted an Instragram of you! This is ridiculous,’” recalled Smith.
Manziel not only shared her GoFundMe page, but also donated $1,000.
“I’ve never met this guy. He’s famous. Yes, we go to the same school. But who would have thought he’d even give the time of day,” said Smith.
Within hours, the account skyrocketed to more than $70,000.
“I’ve always heard; oh the Aggie connection is so awesome. But I had no clue it was so amazing,” said Smith.
Manziel posted a screenshot of Smith’s GoFundMe and listed her link on his Instagram. Some commented on social media, questioning the authenticity of his motives.
“Bad past or not, he did a really awesome thing not even for me, but for anyone who needs help,” said Smith.
She feels his post brings attention to cancer and also might help push others to help those in need beyond just her.
“It’s been so cool to see how many people have been so willing to give to me and my family when they don’t even know me and I want to be the same way for those other people,” said Smith.
Still in disbelief, she feels indebted to Manziel.
“Thank you so much,” said Smith. “You have no idea how much that means to me.”
Smith said it is not the money that will help her beat cancer, it is all the love, prayers and support.
“I don’t feel like I’m dying of cancer because I know I’m not. I know that I’m going to get through this,” said Smith.
To contribute to Smith’s GoFundMe account, click here.
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