Dr. Kent Brantly opened up about his Ebola diagnosis, his battle against the disease and his plans for the future in an NBC News special report Friday evening.
But, what the doctor may not realize, is his story of giving is inspiring others to do the same.
The Kent Brantly Fund set up through the JPS Foundation has raised $14,575 from 130 people in 13 states and Australia. Some of the donations pour in include messages of thanks, support and hope.
“Many of them you can tell are just touched by what he has done in doing things so selfless,” said Amanda Stallings, executive director of JPS Foundation. “I read one that said, 'You are the face of Christ in the world,' and I’ve read others that say, 'Thank you so much. We’re praying for you.'”
Money raised through the Kent Brantly Fund will be given to the Brantly family to help them replace items they were forced to leave behind in West Africa such as clothing, toys and electronics.
“It just reaffirms that how many people are so touched by his story, what he is doing in the world and that he got his training her at JPS,” Stallings said. “And, that training allowed him to go and do that work that he felt called to do.”
At Fort Worth's Southside Church of Christ, where Brantly and his family attended church in North Texas, friends call the doctor an inspiration.
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“He appears to be handling it with grace,” said Kent Smith, friend and church elder. “I think he’s been his usual humble self, showing concern for other people and trying to deflect the attention away from himself.”
Smith said Brantly's message is an inspiring and positive one highlighting the need to give to others and the plight of Ebola patients in Africa. Smith also said his friend embodies what it means to be a Christian.
“I think he’s doing the best job he can to emulate Jesus, and we could all learn from his example,” Smith said.
The Southside Church of Christ has raised more than $20,000 for the doctor and his family.
If you would like to donate to help the Brantly’s, you can still do so through the JPS Foundation at http://www.givetojps.org. A drop-down menu allows donations to be earmarked for the Brantly Fund.
Contributions can also can be mailed to JPS Foundation, Kent Brantly Fund, 1223 S. Main St., Fort Worth 76104.