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.

(credit: Knaub Family)

“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

(credit: Knaub Family)

Comments (11)
  1. Nuschlerclark says:

    This little girl has had 73 surgeries already in her young life. @”A”, You say “Props to his parents.” His parents are missionaries in the Philippines. Tim was home-schooled. When his team mates at Florida would go on Spring Break to the beach, Tim joined his parents in the PI to minister to the populace.
    Like 85% of my fellow Swedes, I am an atheist. We are still moral, ethical people. We just have a different belief system. But I was raised understanding and following the guidelines Jesus Christ laid down 2,000 years ago. We don’t preach hate or push our beliefs on others. We just live quietly and serve our fellow man.
    We think Tim Tebow is a great young man. May he have a good, long career so he can reach more and more people. His coach at Florida said he changed everyone he met. He is the “real deal.”

  2. Laurie says:

    God has Tim Tebow right where He wants him! The quality of our athletes has gone down hill for many years – nobody to look up to, nobody to follow. Now, the Lord has brought this wonderful young man who is not afraid or ashamed to show his love for our Lord. This is a young man with integrity, dignity and love for everyone and everything the Lord has created. I wish more Christians would wear the Lord on their sleeves. Thank you Lord!!! Tim Tebow – you rock!!!

  3. cluelessinky says:

    I lost any interest in sports mostly becasue of the self-centered athletes who thought that they were the center of the universe. But becasue of Tim Tebow my interest has been re-ignited. To se this young fellow give so much and ask for nothing more than the right to thhank G*d for his talents is refreshing and inspiring.

  4. mikeinga says:

    This guy is the real deal…..Imagine being a 25 year Auburn guy and having to admit that Tebow is “Tha Man” for 4 years…lol God bless Tebow.

  5. Roxanne Defoe says:

    Tim is so inspiring ,and such an influence to all , but most of all he gives the glory to God , and shows his willingness to witness that glory … May God continue to bless you Tim , and may your journey to such fame bring you closer and closer to “Our Lord and Savior , Jesus Christ” !!! Oh and “Go Bronco’s” ……. : )

  6. Irish Spectre says:

    Tim Tebow knows exactly who he is, a son of God. That self-knowledge liberates him to play with wreckless courage, because he has a perspective on the world and life that is far truer than what is normally seen. He and his story are a joy to behold.

  7. Robyn says:

    I love this story! It is so fantastic that Tim is the person that he is and shares his beliefs and views in Christ. But he also takes time to recognize children with serious illnesses. Wegeners Granulomatosis is a rare autoimmune illness that many people have never heard of. I should know because I too have this disease. Awareness of this disease just like with any other disease will help in finding a cure. Hats off to Bailey and Tim! Best wishes to both of you! May God bless you both!!

  8. jim says:

    Uplifting..Tim is what I call a True follower of Christ

  9. A says:

    Props to his parents, SOMEONE clearly raised up a fine young man in Tebow. Bless his heart. <3

  10. Elbert Bonner says:

    This is what Christ has done to this man. You can almost sense His presence in Tebow just watching him. Life is about much more than football. He, like few cultural icons I have ever known, is able to keep things in perspective, particulary as it pertains to suffering orphans on the other side of the world. I jut wish there were millions of other Tim Tebows. What a wonderful world this would be.

    1. rscruzin says:

      Clearly God is doing a great work through this young man. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

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