East Texas teen loses battle to cancer; 'I know God has my back - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texas teen loses battle to cancer; 'I know God has my back'

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Byron Jones Byron Jones
VAN, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas junior high student lost his battle with leukemia Wednesday on his 15th birthday.

We talked to Byron Jones, a Van Junior High School student, earlier this year when a fellow student donated his signed Johnny Manziel football to Byron's silent auction to help pay for his medical costs.

After their loss, his family is asking for prayers.

"As human beings, we are put on earth here for a short time; we're just visiting and BB visited us for 15 years," said William Frind, Byron's cousin.

Byron, or BB as friends and family called him, turned 15 years old on Wednesday; he celebrated that birthday in a hospital room.

"Early yesterday morning, some of the nurses came in and they put a sign up happy birthday. They bought him gifts, they sung songs to him," explained Francis Jones, Byron's grandmother.

Byron was diagnosed with cancer in January. Francis, who raised him, said he has been in a Dallas hospital since April, after receiving a cord blood transplant that ended up giving him an infection that spread to his lungs.

"I prayed and I prayed for God just to touch him, but on Monday, I prayed a different prayer," Francis said.

Francis said she prayed that God's will would be done. After family and hospital staff sang Byron 'Happy Birthday,' Francis said she asked her 15-year-old grandson a question.

"I asked him, 'Are you scared?' And he said, 'No, because I know God has my back,'" Francis said.

Those were the last words they spoke before Byron stopped breathing.

"And that is one of the reasons why I'm going to make it," Francis said.

As his family and friends mourn his death, they want others to know they are also celebrating his life knowing he is in a better place.

"If you want to see him again, live right, do the right thing. And for the young kids, that's the kind of man you want to be like," Frind said.

Services for Byron Danron Jones will be held at the New Zion Baptist Church in Winona at noon on Saturday, June 15.

Family will receive friends at Hilliard Funeral Home on Friday, June 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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