Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry decided to begin his NFL career with a heaping dose of good karma, inviting a 12-year-old leukemia survivor to the draft festivities with him in New York.
Bryson Merriweather of Madison, Ala., was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2007, and after several rounds of chemothearpy at St. Jude Childrens Hospital, he is now in remission. Curry met Bryson during a tour of St. Jude recently.
"We were acting like he was just taking me on a regular tour around the hospital," Curry said. "Toward the end we ended up outside tossing each other a football and I just started talking about the draft.
"He said he had seen it and I was telling him that I had been invited and if he would join me in this experience. So I said, 'So come to New York with me and get drafted into the NFL."'
Since he got sick, Bryson has been active in his own community leading bone marrow drives and fundraisers for St. Jude.
Statistics show that Bryson has a 30 to 40 percent chance of relapse and a cell mutation he has puts him in an even higher risk group. But the lanky Bryson is strong enough now to play sports again. He's running track this spring and hopes to resume football this fall.
"It's just been a blessing to go through this whole experience. It renewed our faith," said Bryson's father, Ace Merriweather. "It also shows Bryson's courage and will to fight through this. He didn't ask for it, but he's taken on the challenge. I know he's going to have a long life ahead of him.
"Maybe one day we'll be at the draft inviting somebody."
Of course Curry could get drafted by the Lions, making Bryson wish he had opted for Disney World.