Courtesy by: beaumontenterprise.com
Larry Tidwell had been to the Whataburger in Winnie at least a dozen times on the way back from recruiting trips to Houston, and it had never taken him this long to get his food.
With a bus full of schoolchildren inside that October day keeping the kitchen staff busy, all the Lamar women’s basketball coach could do was stare at a flyer on the drive-through window that had a picture of a young boy in a cowboy hat on it.
The flyer was for a benefit to help defray the cost of medical expenses for 3-year-old Lane Hoffpauir’s blood transfusion.
“I couldn’t stop looking at it,” Tidwell said. “I’m an old cowboy myself, so the hat really got to me. I knew I just had to help this kid, so I took down the number and called his mom.”
Lane, now 4, has had more than 100 blood transfusions in his life, battling beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disease in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen, leading to destruction of red blood cells and anemia.
Tidwell and the Lady Cardinal basketball team decided to adopt Lane for the season. After adopting Lane, the basketball team sold different ticket packages, which included tickets to Saturday’s game and extras such as golf and gumbo, to help the fundraising efforts at his benefit on Oct. 17. The basketball team’s efforts raised almost $15,000 and so far the family has received almost $100,000 in donations to help with the cost of his bone marrow transplant.