Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big 12 [Print without images]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Texas fans raise funds, spirits for Santos

By Max Olson

AUSTIN, Texas -- Dalton Santos made his plea Sunday afternoon. By Monday afternoon, his family's prayers had been answered and then some.

The Texas linebacker took to Twitter to ask his fans and followers for help raising money for his mother's open heart surgery. The initial goal was $5,000. The response was immediate and overwhelming.

Raise $ for my Mom's open heart surgery! Vista's Angry Aortic Aneurysm | Medical Expenses - http://t.co/aPwhpZaFmB: http://t.co/hrArU09NAP

— Dalton Santos (@Daltonsantos78) April 20, 2014


According to her page on the website YouCaring.com, Mary Vista Santos was diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurism that will require open heart surgery to be repaired. A family friend who set up the donation page, Malinda McKnight, wrote that the mother of three does not have insurance that will cover the operation.

On the site, McKnight wrote: "We need to raise money to help her during this time. Even if you can only donate 5 dollars it will help ease the burden. The stress of finances should not be something our friend worries about during this time."

And so the Santos family and its friends went online, asking for the support of the hard-hitting inside linebacker's friends and fans. Santos' initial Twitter post has been retweeted more than 250 times and more than 260 donations have already come in.

The donation total passed $5,000, and then it kept going. It surpassed $10,000 by Monday afternoon, and more than $12,000 by the end of the day.

"We feel truly blessed and honored to be a part of such a caring football family," Dalton's father, Albert Santos, told ESPN.com.

Donations to the family are not a violation of NCAA rules, according to Texas' official Twitter account.

For those asking, NCAA Bylaw 16.11.1.8-(g) permits you to donate http://t.co/dQvgb0ttxi MT @Daltonsantos78 Raise $ for my Mom's surgery!

— Texas Compliance (@TexasCompliance) April 21, 2014