Van Ginkel Steps Up for Sick Child

Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel is donating a signed jersey for an auction to benefit a boy afflicted with cancer

Andrew Van Ginkel had a few standout performances in his second season with the Miami Dolphins, but perhaps none better than what he did against the Las Vegas Raiders on that Saturday night in late December.

Now, Van Ginkel is parting with the jersey he wore in that game, but doing so for a good cause.

Van Ginkel, as his wife Samantha explained via Twitter, donated the game-worn jersey along with an autographed football to an online auction to benefit 7-year-old Jake Dieters, who in December was diagnosed with Wilms' tumor for the third time.

Wilms' tumor is a rare kidney cancer that affects mostly children. Dieters is from Inwood, Iowa, about 15 miles away from Van Ginkel's hometown of Rock Valley.

The auction began Monday and will last through Saturday. The bid for Van Ginkel's jersey and football was up to $2,550 by Saturday at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

Items won in the auction are supposed to be picked up at the Inwood Community Center, but Samantha Van Ginkel wrote on Twitter she would be willing to ship it to the winner anywhere in the U.S.

In that game against the Raiders, Van Ginkel had his first career two-sack outing, the highlight of what was an impressive second year for the Dolphins linebacker.

Andrew and Samantha Van Ginkel celebrated their wedding anniversary Monday and are expecting their first child, a boy.

According to the online auction information, since Deiters had surgery in early January, "the disease has spread to other organs and continues to be aggressive. Jake is being treated with a chemotherapy regimen in hopes of shrinking the tumors and controlling the spread of the disease. Jake is a very tough, brave little guy. If you ask him who his favorite superhero is, he won't hesitate to say Ironman. But to anyone who knows Jake, they won't hesitate to say the true superhero is him."

Our best wishes and positive vibes go out to Jake and his family.


Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @apoupartFins.