Texas LB Dalton Santos’ tweet helping to fund mom’s open-heart surgery

No hurdle was going to get in the way of Dalton Santos helping his mom.

The NCAA may not allow its athletes to accept money for their own benefit, but a University of Texas football player is putting a provision that allows athletes to accept donations for others to good use, crowdsourcing his Twitter followers to help pay for his mother’s open-heart surgery.

Dalton Santos, a linebacker who just finished his sophomore season with the Longhorns, petitioned his 4,600 followers on Sunday to donate money so that his mother, Mary Vista Santos, can have an aortic aneurysm repaired:

According to Santos’ fundraising page at YouCaring.com, his mother does not have health insurance and would not be able to purchase insurance that would cover the procedure — considered to be a pre-existing condition — until the next enrollment period.

The initial objective was to raise $5,000 for Vista Santos, who is a nurse, herself, and a single mother of three, but after receiving overwhelming feedback to Santos’ tweet, the goal was raised to $75,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, Santos had raised over $30,000 with 23 days of fundraising to go.

“I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for all of your prayers, calls, messages, FB post and visits,” Vista Santos wrote in an update at YouCaring.com on Tuesday. “Although I can’t read much of what has been posted right now because it’s just so overwhelming and emotional I want you to know you are lifting my kids up! These three kids are who I live for and what a beautiful life it is.”

And if you’re wondering — yes, Santos’ fundraising effort is all being done by the book.

Spring Ball 2014