BUFFALO, N.Y. — TJ Ackley, 10, is battling his second go-around with cancer. He and his mom discovered a painted Sweet Buffalo Rock while trick or treating. Since then, many rocks have been specially made for TJ, and auctions have helped his GoFundMe.
"It's something for him to look forward to, now he has something to do besides sit here and think, ‘I have to stay in here and do more medicine or I have to do whatever, I can get up and I can go look,’" said mother Kerry Miller.
What started as a simple way to put a smile on peoples' faces has turned into so much more.
"The group is 27,000 people and they're just awesome, I mean they're very supportive, they're very local-oriented, they're very community-oriented and I mean it's mainly about the children," said George Kurtz, a member of Sweet Buffalo Rocks.
Sweet Buffalo Rocks, an online community, started with people painting rocks and leaving them around town for the next person to find. Now, rocks are even being auctioned off. The money from the auctions is donated to GoFundMe pages for sick children.
TJ's mom has been overwhelmed by the support of Sweet Buffalo Rocks, and never imagined a simple rock could do all this.
"I can't believe how many strangers are doing something for our family, for TJ, not even for our family, it's for TJ, it's all for TJ, that's all it's ever about is him, getting him better and putting a smile on his face," she said.
So far, auctions have raised over $200 for TJ and a rock Easter egg hunt is planning to raise more later this month.
Anyone wishing to join Sweet Buffalo Rocks can do so here.