Josh is a football fanatic and loves the Denver Broncos. He told Make-A-Wish® Colorado exactly who he wanted to meet...Peyton Manning!
Peyton Manning is not only a favorite athlete among adults, but is an icon for children around the country. For a 13-year-old boy from Aurora, Manning is a football legend and hero. Josh has Rasmussen syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, but because of his love and admiration for Manning, Josh doesn’t let his condition get in the way of missing a single football game! Even as the starting quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, Manning was Josh’s favorite football player because, as Josh says, “he is the greatest quarterback of all time!”
One can imagine Josh’s excitement when he learned his idol was joining his home team, the Denver Broncos! The move made Josh’s one true wish even more amazing! His wish experience began at the Denver Broncos Headquarters at Dove Valley to watch practice and meet Manning himself! After the final team huddle, Manning walked right over to Josh and they just started talking, like they were already the best of friends! Josh watched Manning sign a football and then hand it to him. Josh then got to take photos with Manning – something Josh will cherish forever. The next day, Josh and his family were given a tour of Sports Authority Field at Mile High. This was the first time Josh had been inside the stadium and he couldn’t stop smiling! Sunday was game day and Josh got to watch Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos take on the Houston Texans. Even though the Broncos lost the game, Josh cheered loudly for Manning every time he passed the football and wore his Broncos gear proudly!
The wish experience was more than your average meet and greet with a celebrity, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Josh to meet his hero, Peyton Manning. The experience gave him the extra boost he needed to power through the hard times and focus on the good. Since Josh’s wish, his parents have noticed that he is more upbeat in daily activities and has a more uplifted spirit. “The wish touched Josh’s heart,” said Josh’s mom. “It made him feel whole again.”
Josh still talks about his amazing wish to meet Peyton Manning and how it has changed his life forever!