AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – When talking about Broncos players the focus tends to be on the players making the flashy plays. But a whole group of fans is talking up Zane Beadles, not for his great play, but the lives he is touching.
Beadles is a brute — a big force on a big offensive line. He’s almost scary. But to some children what No. 68 does off the field is far more meaningful.
“He’s very nice, kind of like a big teddy bear,” Amanda Gaines said.
Amanda, 15, is crazy about the Broncos. She says her affinity for blue and orange may have something to do with her hair.
“All my friends call it orange,” she said.
What Amanda and her mother really like about the Broncos is the distraction they offer to what their days are consumed by — Amanda’s leukemia diagnosis. And Zane Beadles is the biggest and best distraction of all.
“He’s been more than willing to sit and talk to us and share his thoughts,” Amanda’s mother said.
Beadles is a huge supporter of Brent’s Place, which offers temporary lodging to children and their families who need to be near a hospital while they battle diseases.
“They’re in the hospital 10, 12, 14 hours a day going through chemo treatment and they’re getting bone marrow transplants and all that kind of stuff,” Beadles said. “I want to be able to give them something to just get their minds off that everyday grind.”
Beadles often quietly leaves the field to go to Brent’s Place to offer encouragement to children who frequently are discouraged.
Amanda says she gets nervous during Broncos games, but it’s a good kind of nervousness. She says a winning season like this one helps her know she too can be a winner. And for that, Beadles is a true leader to the mother-daughter team.
“Thanks for everything, Zane, and go get ‘em,” Amanda’s mother said.