Devin is a football-loving teenage boy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From playing video games to watching Sunday night football, Devin is passionate about the sport. He even used to play the sport as a linebacker, but was forced to quit after receiving some shocking news.
After complaining of vision problems, Devin visited his doctor and was later diagnosed with epilepsy and also found a tumor in his brain. As the tumor progressed Devin suffered from regular seizures, making his ability to play football a challenge.
Even though Devin couldn't play football any longer, he still enjoyed playing his video games, watching football on TV and listing to interviews with players on ESPN. The more he watched, the more he idolized the players, especially Denver Broncos Defensive back, Champ Bailey.
“Champ Bailey is an amazing athlete and carries himself well on and off the field,” said Devin about why Bailey is his favorite player. “After being referred to Make-A-Wish, I knew exactly who I wanted to meet for my wish-come-true.”
Devin was referred to Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 2012 and his wish coordinator went straight to work planning Devin’s wish to meet Champ Bailey.
For Devin’s wish, he and his family flew to Denver, Colorado for a sports-filled weekend. Devin received a tour of Sports Authority Field at Mile High and a tour of Dove Valley, the Denver Broncos training facility, where he watched the team practice and met Champ Bailey.
“He came right over to me after practice, took off his gloves and shook my hand,” said Devin. “That was my favorite part of the whole experience because it made it official – I had met Champ Bailey.”
Champ Bailey took photos with Devin and also signed his number 24 jersey and official NFL football – a smile never left Devin’s face.
After meeting Champ Bailey and watching the team practice, Devin and his family prepared for their first Broncos game in the Mile High City. They went to the September 29 game against the Philadelphia Eagles and cheered loudly with the other Broncos fans as the team finished the game with a victory!
Meeting Champ Bailey was an unforgettable experience for Devin and his family. They were able to spend time together and focus on the positives of life.
“Thank you to the Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia chapter and the Make-A-Wish Colorado chapter for giving my son hope for a brighter future,” said Melanie, Devin’s mom. “Even though we are going through some hard times, meeting Champ Bailey gave Devin a lifted spirit and made him even more passionate about football.”
A very special thank you to Make-A-Wish® sponsors, Dave & Buster’s and Hard Rock Café, for hosting Devin and his family and providing them with delicious food, fun and sports on his wish experience.