A Bengals fan entered the Patriots community on Reddit. He wasn't there to troll or to crack jokes. He came in peace and on behalf of his friend in need.
When Jeremy Priessman posted a GoFundMe link for his friend and fellow Marine, Tyrone Royce Carter who was battling Stage 4 colon cancer, he didn't know what to expect. He just wanted to help.
Then Patriots fans showed up big for their fellow fan.
Tyrone passed away after fighting courageously and with a smile in December, but in his last month, he saw what the power of people who care -- from family and close friends to total strangers -- can do.
Jeremy served alongside Tyrone for more than three years in the Marines, and even once they both completed their service, they talked several times a week, playing video games together on a weekly basis.
“We clicked right away. That was the thing about him. He got along with literally everybody. It didn’t matter. He always had something funny to say,” Jeremy said. “Everybody that was around him was constantly smiling, constantly laughing. He was just a really good guy. He genuinely cared about each and everybody he spoke with.”
Tyrone’s upbeat attitude was contagious, according to Jeremey. He was beloved by those who knew him, but many of those who donated to the GoFundMe never knew him. The initial goal for the fundraiser was $10,000, and through the kindness and generosity of friends, family and strangers, that goal was exceeded.
It didn’t take long after Jeremy posted the link for it to go viral on in the Patriots page on Reddit, and his fellow fans showed up, donating and leaving messages of “Go Pats!” on the fundraising page.
Jeremy said it’s become too hard to look at the GoFundMe page and though the ability to withdraw money belongs to Tyrone’s family, he could see messages that people left. The words of encouragement and love were overwhelming.
“I can see all of the notes. It’s humbling. It’s just absolutely mind blowing,” Jeremy said. “It’s been a journey, but the only thing I did was try to help a Marine out and it blew up into something bigger. I’m just so thankful.”
Patriots fans weren’t the only ones to show support for Tyrone. Robert Kraft sent Tyrone a video, wishing him well and sending encouragement from Foxborough.
“It’s all he talked about for a week,” Jeremy said.
Now, the Patriots Reddit community is rallying around Tyrone yet again.
As the Patriots head to their third straight Super Bowl, this group of fans want the Patriots to get #OneMoreForTyrone. The hashtag is a rallying cry, a reminder of the bright life lost and a way to honor Tyrone through his favorite team.
“I was never on Reddit. In fact, the only page I follow is the Patriots, and I’m not even a Patriots fan like that. I am now, don’t get me wrong, but I mean I get on there every day to keep up with what’s going on,” Jeremy said. “[If he knew about #OneMoreForTyrone], he’d just be smiling.”