Issue 1- August 30, 2012
With the NFL season looming in the near future, the New York Jets’ backup quarterback, Tim Tebow, is making headlines for what he does on, and off, the field.
Tebow has become the most talked about name in sports. His fame transcends the football fields and ESPN networks. His popularity surpasses completion rates or yards. ESPN First Take’s Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless can’t debate any topic except the polarizing, 250-pound, backup QB and newest punt protector, whose faith seems to be questioned as much as his football skills.
His shirtless run through the rain became a top ESPN story and slow-motion youtube hit. But even more special, and not as widely reported, is what he does after he jogs off the practice field, on the sidelines.
Through his W15H foundation, Tebow meets kids struggling with life-threatening illnesses and gives them the VIP experience. The foundation’s mission is to bring “faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.” They fulfill this mission by providing families with round-trip airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodations and special time with their role model.
Woody Roseland is a W15H recipient and five-time cancer survivor.
“This was an amazing experience. The generosity and goodwill that Tim Tebow and W15H have shown throughout this process has been nothing short of extraordinary,” Roseland said. “Getting to meet Tim was a rare thrill and incredible. It was all so surreal and I am eternally grateful to the Tim Tebow Foundation and W15H.”
Adam Hubbs was born with a rare blood disease and recently suffered a stroke. Over the last four years, he has been in the hospital 16 months and has gone through numerous surgeries, including a blood marrow transplant. He has met Tebow twice through W15H, at Disney World, and also in Denver when the Broncos faced the San Diego Chargers.
“I hope you fully understand the impact these W15H experiences have on everyone involved. It’s an escape for all of us and it is truly appreciated,” Adam’s mom, Peggy, said. “There was no ‘poor Adam,’ just a kid at a football game enjoying what was probably the best day of his life.”
The W15H foundation hopes to meet a child at every Jets’ game this season, as well as five experiences in the off season. That is 25 lives Tebow is influencing this year. These recipients don’t care whether he threw a touchdown or interception, whether he played quarterback or punt protector. They want to see someone who has overcome obstacles. They want a football player that takes off his helmet and gives them words of encouragement. What they want is a hero.