Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow took the media by storm during the 2011 NFL season. Commentators talked about his passing mechanics and the fact the fact that despite them, he was leading the Broncos to win after win. His strong faith and his kneeling in prayer even led to the phenomenon known as “Tebowing.” However, while his work on the football field is definitely amazing, it is his work off the field that really makes him an amazing role model for others.
During the 2011 NFL season, Tebow and the Tim Tebow Foundation invited one child to each and every game Tebow played in. These children were all battling severe or life-threatening medical conditions. These children and their families were given transportation and tickets to the game.
However, it went far beyond that. These children were able to spend real time with Tebow. Before and after the game, while most players are preparing or talking to the press, Tebow was giving his attention to a child that faces real battles every day.
While I thought it was amazing that he was giving his time to these children during the NFL season, it hasn’t stopped there. On February 18th, at the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards, Tebow brought 9-year-old Presli Collins as his date. Presli was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis-1, or NF1, in 2008 and has undergone brain surgery.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow in the nervous system. Treatment usually involves surgery to remove the tumors. With NF1, some of the tumors can become cancerous and require surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke state that most individuals with NF1 will live relatively normal lives however some cases can be severely debilitating.
Now, I wrote an article recently regarding U.S. Air Force Airman Jamie Walden who had created a YouTube video asking Tebow to be her date to a military ball. Actress Jenny McCarthy has a bit of a crush on the QB. Obviously Tebow would have no problem finding a date for an event such as this. I find it amazing that rather than spend his time with a woman his age that he might be interested in, he gives a gift and an amazing experience to a little girl.
If you would like to see pictures of Presli’s date and evening out with Tebow, check out her page, Pray for Presli, on Facebook.
Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and avid football fan. She is a freelance writer and Featured Contributor for the NFL and Olympics. She has followed the Denver Broncos since she was a child and can usually be found yelling at the television during football season. Follow her on Twitter at @fwcdeborah.