LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Quarterback Tim Tebow had a potentially job-saving performance on the field during the Broncos big win on Sunday, but he also helped a courageous Loveland teen by giving her a thrill of a lifetime.
Bailey Knaub, a Thompson Valley High School student, got a chance to meet her hero before kickoff.
“(Tebow) just came over and said ‘Hi Bailey. It’s such a great opportunity to meet you.’ And he gave me the ball, and I was so excited,” said Knaub, who had a disease known as Wegener’s granulomatosis.
Knaub was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease when she was 7. In the 10 or so years since she has undergone 73 surgeries and had to have one of her lungs removed.
Knaub has been a Tebow fan since his college days and was excited when he was drafted to the Broncos. Recently her cousin wrote a letter to Tim Tebow Foundation telling them all about what Knaub has been through. Tebow’s foundation’s Wish 15 program gives wishes to children with life threatening illnesses.
On Thursday Knaub got the call, with a foundation representative saying Knaub was invited to attend the Steelers-Broncos game with great tickets for her and her family.
At the game, the Knaubs were excited to meet and hang out with members of Tebow’s family and discuss their common faith.
“We believe in prayer and we give all the glory to God,” Knaub’s father Rob said. “He saved her life three different times.”
Then, there was that meeting with the Broncos star himself during pre-game warmups.
“He was so generous and kind and so amazing,” she told CBS4 from her Northern Colorado home on Monday.
In addition to a signed football, Bailey would also get a signed rookie card — and an experience she’ll never forget.
“It was so unreal. I was walking on air,” she told CBS4. “I couldn’t stop smiling.”
All that was of course before her favorite team pulled out a huge win in overtime with Tebow throwing a touchdown pass on the first play in overtime.
“I had a little jump session with my sister and did a little Tebow dance. I was on cloud nine,” she said. “I couldn’t just stop jumping up and down and screaming ‘We’re going to New England!’ ”
After the game Tebow even mentioned his meeting with Bailey when talking to reporters.
“At first I couldn’t believe it that he would take time after such a big win to mention me,” she said.
LINK: Tim Tebow Foundation