Heisman winner touched by boyís fight against cancer
You might have heard Heisman Trophy award winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M talk about a young man named Charlie. You might have even seen him wearing a wristband with ‘Charlie’s Angels’ written on it. But what you might not know is how a college football star and a little boy in Houston are connected.
‘Charlie’ is Charlie Dina, a five-year old boy who is fighting a rare form of cancer known as Neuroblastoma. He also happens to be a big Aggies fan.
Charlie’s mother Angela was talking with a neighbor one day during the season, and was shocked when she found out that her neighbor was a cousin ‘Johnny Football.’ When that cousin told the football star about the young boy’s plight, the football star was moved.
Dina said her neighbor soon texted her a picture of Manziel wearing a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ wristband with a message. That message; “His family knows your story. They are committed to praying. More surprises to come.”
That surprise turned out to be on Saturday, when Manziel was named the winner of college football’s biggest individual honor. Manziel talked about the young man who is being treated at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Saturday night wasn’t the first time Manziel has talked about Dina. The wristband and why Manziel wears it became a big story in the days leading up to the Heisman announcement.
“He’s definitely been on my mind this trip and the entire year,” Manziel said on Saturday. “His mom wrote me some letters I keep with me. I’ve kept that bracelet on ever since I received it.
“People have asked me to take it off for photo shoots, but I just refuse to do it. He loves my story, and his fight has really touched my heart. It’s made me fight that much harder on the field.”
And when Manziel mentioned young Charlie on Saturday night during the Heisman ceremony, you could have knocked the Dina’s over with a feather.
“I was incredibly touched that he was that committed to our child. It’s a beautiful thing,” Dina said. “We had no idea that that was what was going to happen.”
And how is Charlie doing?
“It will be several more days until the cells start to grow and go online. Right now, it’s like he’s got the worst case of the flu,” Dina explained.
If you would like to know more about Charlie’s fight, you can find out more by going to his site on Caring Bridge.
Hear the podcast with Matt Patrick and Houston's Morning News as he talks with Dina: