On April 13th, Curry visited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.,to tour the hospital and interact with patients. During this time, Aaron spent the day with Bryson and his family and got an inside glimpse of what St. Jude patients and their families deal with on a daily basis. Wanting to now offer Bryson an inside look at a special time in his life, Curry surprised him with a special invitation to accompany him and his family to New York for the NFL Draft. It is believed that no other NFL invitee has ever brought a special guest of this nature to his draft day and had him in the actual green room when he was drafted into the NFL.
"I just wanted to do something special for a kid that has been through some major struggles and hard times," said Curry. "I've been through hard times, none of which compare to Bryson's, but we have a common theme, and that is hope. And that's really what St. Jude is all about. Everyone can do their part to give hope to kids like Bryson when they support St. Jude."
This experience is sure to have special meaning for Bryson who plays football. After complaining of chest pains and difficulty breathing during football practice, Bryson was taken to the doctor and ultimately diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2007. Bryson received a total of five rounds of chemotherapy at St. Jude, which pushed his cancer into remission in June 2008. Acute myeloid leukemia carries a 30- to 40-percent risk of relapse and Bryson has a cell mutation that puts him in an even higher-risk group. If the worst happens and a relapse occurs, a bone marrow transplant is considered the only treatment. Fortunately, doctors determined that Bryson's younger brother is a 100 percent bone marrow match, which gives his family that much more assurance going forward.
The 2008 Butkus Award Winner, Curry was arguably the top college linebacker in the entire nation and enters the 2009 NFL drafted as one of the highest rated players. On top of his on-the-field achievements, Aaron has overcome a lot in his life that has made him a strong man and further developed his character. Because he has seen many hard times, he thought that if he was given the opportunity to go to New York for the Draft to fulfill his dreams of becoming an NFL player, he would share his experience to help make someone else's dreams come true as well.
To learn more about Aaron's visit to St. Jude and make a donation to help children battling cancer and other deadly diseases, visit www.stjude.org/curry.