Jim McElwain made a touching visit to a young Gators fan battling cancer.
In the image below, you can see the Florida coach photographed with young Jay Ryon, who began fighting leukemia in January 2014. Ryon’s story was told in a 2015 piece from The Gainesville Sun by current SEC Country writer Zach Abolverdi. In it, Abolverdi shares how Ryon, then 8 years old, gained attention from McElwain and Florida players after the boy was seen on Twitter pictured with a sign that read, “Dear Gators, I’m beating cancer. Please beat Ole Miss.”
(Screen shots have replaced the original tweets below after the account went private.) Here’s another photo of Ryon that was tweeted out last year. It’s great to see that McElwain keeps in contact with the boy. Ryon’s situation is heartbreaking, but it’s wonderful that Florida’s coach can serve as emotional support in this difficult time, even with a bowl game looming for the Gators. Florida plays Iowa in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2 in Tampa, Fla.
Here’s wishing Ryon the best.