HOUSTON (WHAS11) – A boy fighting for his own life is helping other children in Texas.
His actions have garnered recognition as a real-life hero.
A Vietnam veteran gave him his bronze star.
3-year-old Bennett Nester of Houston was diagnosed with a brain tumor just before Christmas 2011.
While in the hospital, a stranger had given him a teddy bear.
That’s how he came up with the concept to form “Bennett’s Bears” – an effort to collect stuffed animals to give to sick children at area hospitals.
This year, they’ve collected more than 900 stuffed animals and that got the attention of a Vietnam veteran who wanted to thank Bennett with a medal.
"He felt like Bennett was just as big a hero as he was, which is amazing. He's done so much for our country. I can't believe he would want to do something like that for my son," his mother Brande Nester said.
The veteran didn’t want to be identified.
He gave Bennett his bronze star with one condition – Bennett must do his best to soldier through his treatment and stick around to help pick another hero to whom the award can be passed to.