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Johnny Manziel helps raise awareness of A&M student’s cancer battle


Over the past handful of years, Johnny Manziel has generally garnered headlines for career-ruining antics off the field. But to be fair to the NFL flameout, there is now at least one instance where he is using his celebrity in a positive manner.

Now that his pro football career sits in a state of perpetual purgatory, Manziel is back taking classes at Texas A&M, apparently to honor a promise he made to his parents. While being back on campus already has generated some bad press for Manziel, he has taken notice of a fellow A&M student’s battle with cancer.

Shelby Smith, a young woman who just began classes at A&M this fall, has been diagnosed with olfactory neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. Manziel on Thursday took to Instagram to highlight Smith’s GoFundMe Page and her story.

A photo posted by Johnny Manziel (@jmanziel2) on

Manziel writes in the post:

Aggies never fight alone. Cant imagine going through something like this, let alone finding out on such a special day and big time in your life. I wish you all the best and you will be in my prayers continuously. Link for the GoFundMe in my Bio

As of Friday morning, over $66,000 has been raised to help Smith in her battle, far above the originally stated goal of $50,000.

While it’s difficult to ascertain the extent Manziel’s post has had on the fundraising, it obviously can’t hurt given his post has over 25,000 likes and he has 1.7 million followers on the social media site.

It’s also worth noting that a donation in the amount of $1,000 was made in the name of Johnathan Manziel at about the same of Manziel’s original Instagram post.


Manziel has a long way to go to reestablish any semblance of a respectable reputation — as illustrated in this piece — much less his professional football career. Perhaps his thoughtful act to help out a person in need simply should be taken at face value, as was the case with this gesture.