WATCH: 8-year old boy battling cancer has special bond with UF receiver

8-year old Jay Ryon loves his Gators.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sports can have a monumental impact on one’s life — regardless of whether that individual is participating on the field or not.

An eight-year old boy named Jay Ryon is currently battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A massive fan of the Florida football program, Ryon has formed a relationship with Gators’ wide receiver Chris Thompson. 

Back in October, Ryon had initially tweeted a picture of himself holding a sign which read "Dear Gators, I’m beating cancer. Please beat Ole Miss!" Head coach Jim McElwain responded to the tweet — and even sent Ryon a signed football from the win over the Rebels. 

Thompson also started communicating with Ryon via FaceTime, and even drove two hours during the bye week to spend time with Ryon and his family at their home in the greater Orlando area. Thompson’s grandmother had previously passed due to cancer, which ultimately created the link between the two. 

The Make-a-Wish Foundation enabled Ryon and his family to be in attendance for the Homecoming Weekend game against Vanderbilt. From there, he was able to meet McElwain in person.

Ryon’s determination and strength throughout this struggle is surely inspirational for the entire Florida football team.

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