Sportress of Blogitude

Tim Tebow Spent Time With Girl With Rare Disorder Before And After Steelers Game

(John Leyba, The Denver Post)

Sure to add to the unstoppable force that is the perpetual growth of the Myth of Tim Tebow is this story from The Denver Post which documents how the Broncos quarterback, leading up to and immediately after the biggest game of his professional career, took the time to meet with an extra special fan who has dealt with a fair share of adversity with a poise, strength and integrity that surpasses anything a football player has to go through on the gridiron.

Bailey Knaub, a 16-year-old girl who attends Thompson Valley High School in nearby Loveland, had a dream come true Sunday when she met her hero. Knaub has granulomatosis, a rare vascular disorder which ultimately resulted in Bailey having her left lung removed and has required over 73 surgeries over the past 10 years. Knowing how much Bailey adored Tebow, a cousin of Knaub’s sent a letter to Tebow Foundation’s Wish 15 program, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

Last Thursday, Knaub and her family learned that they would be attending the Broncos-Steelers playoff game as a guest of Tebow’s and were provided tickets on the 30-yard line, first level. If that wasn’t a big enough thrill, prior to kickoff, Tim Tebow sought out Knaub to personally meet her. Said Bailey:

“I was so nervous, my heart was going a million miles an hour. I was trying not to squeal like a little fan girl.”

Tebow gave Bailey a football and promised to spend some time with her after the game. The Knaubs spent a couple of hours hanging out with Tebow’s entire family, who Bailey later referred to as “very huggy.”

And the best part for Bailey came after the Broncos’ thrilling overtime victory, when Tebow specifically mentioned her and the harrowing ordeal she has been through due to her illness during his postgame comments and then took the time to honor his promise to hang out with her. Tebow autographed the ball he gave to her before the game and presented her a bible with her name embossed on it.

Said, Bailey’s mother, Kathy:

“We couldn’t believe on the biggest game of his life, he focused all on Bailey. He’s so genuine and made her feel so special.”

Even the most cynical among us cannot help but be impressed by the selflessness and good heart Tebow exhibited in what he did for Bailey. There he was, minutes after an amazing performance, taking the time to brighten the spirits of a special and brave young lady who has been through an experience that could very well break even the toughest of football players. While Tebow deserves kudos, perhaps Miss Bailey Knaub deserves them even more, as she is the true hero in this story.