There is no love lost between the fans of Brigham Young University and the University of Utah football teams, but the “Holy War” rivalry played second fiddle to compassion for Hillsboro High School grad Nick Bruce when he heard about the death of Utah freshman Ty Jordan.
Jordan was just 19 and was named Pac-12 offensive newcomer of the year just days before he passed away on Christmas night after suffering an accidental gunshot wound to the abdomen.
“I’m not a fan of Utah by any means but as part of the rivalry, it’s bigger than football sometimes,” the son of Lonnie and Tracy Bruce of Hillsboro told The Deseret News. “It hit too close to home — if that would have happened to my team or someone I was an avid fan of, I can’t imagine what that would feel like. I just wanted to do something.”
Bruce, who attended BYU for three years before moving on to Provo College to complete his degree in physical therapy, said that he looked for a fundraising page for Jordan’s family, but came up empty.
Rather than let it go, Bruce took the initiative to go the extra mile and created a GoFundMe page of his own. As of Jan. 31, the page has raised $24,103 for the Jordan family, specifically Ty’s older brother A-Juan Moore, to help with funeral and medical expenses they incurred.
“People have thanked me for getting this GoFundMe page started. It means a lot to have people reach out but I feel like I’ve played a very minuscule part in it,” said in the Deseret News article. “I started it and put $10 in. That’s nothing compared to where it is now. It was everybody that shared it and liked it and everyone gave the money to make it into what it is now. It’s much more meaningful to see what everyone else has done.”
Many have donated $22 or some variation of 22 to the cause in honor of Jordan’s jersey number. Jordan was buried in that jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, not far from his hometown of Mesquite, TX.
Jordan’s death comes just months after his mother passed away in August following a fight with stage four lung cancer and bone cancer.
While nothing can take away the anguish of Jordan’s loss, Bruce said on Twitter that he hoped the fundraiser could take away a little bit of stress from the family. Bruce also expressed his appreciation for those who donated, a number that stood at 681 on Jan. 31.
“I never thought this GoFundMe would get anywhere, let alone over $20,000. Thank you to everyone who shared this allowing it to get the recognition that it did,” Bruce said on Jan. 1 on Twitter. “And a HUGE thank you to everyone that donated; no matter how big or small, your generosity did not go unnoticed!”
To read the original article on Bruce from The Deseret News, go to www.deseret.com. A link to the GoFundMe can be found at gofund.me/c7afbd6b.