Manning Makes Dying Fan's Wish Come True

The philanthropic Peyton Manning is again helping make the less fortunate's dreams come true.

As I scour Twitter on late June days, searching for something of substance to report on for our readers, uncannily, I can always find a story about Denver Broncos signal-caller Peyton Manning doing something to enhance the lives of others.

Tuesday, I struck gold once again as I found a tweet from an Indianapolis Colts fan named Denise Norris stating that Manning had called a Colts fan named Rita Hay, a friend of Norris’, who is dying from leukemia.

It turns out that through the efforts of a sportswriter/sportscaster at NBC's Indianapolis affiliate, WTHR-TV Channel 13, Bob Kravitz, a longtime Colts beat writer, Hay was able to fulfill several items on her bucket list in her final days, including visiting the home of the Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, and connecting with Manning.

What Is Your Most Memorable Peyton Manning Moment as a Bronco? SOUND OFF IN THE FORUMS!

It is fascinating how this came about as sometime this spring, Kravitz received an email from Norris, who is a close friend of Dawn Carson, Hay's daughter, who told of Hay's problems and her requests.

Kravitz, in a selfless move, forwarded the email to the Colts Chief Operating Officer, Pete Ward, and asked the Colts if they could help Hay make her dreams come true.

Related Story: Peyton Honors Deceased Fan On His Birthday

Hay saw one of her wishes realized when Norris, Carson and Carson's sister, Robin, drove her the 76.9 miles on eastbound Interstate 70 from Terre Haute to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium.

Kravitz reported that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, a cancer survivor himself, punter Pat McAfee and long snapper Matt Overton, came out to meet Hay, sign her football and exchange hugs.

In fact, Pagano inspired Hay by coining the phrase, “Rita Strong,” an obvious play on the “Chuck Strong” theme employed in 2012 while he was fighting cancer, and at the end of this day, she went home smiling.

At this point in time, there was no evidence that Manning had done anything but on Tuesday, as I was scouring Twitter as I always do, I found that someone had retweeted Norris' tweet that Manning had called Hay.

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Kravitz, to whom I am extremely appreciative for his kindness, shared the link with me, and asks that the Broncos, Colts and of course, Manning, receive all the plaudits. This was on the heels of Norris telling me that she wanted no recognition for this piece, instead saying Kravitz deserved all the credit.

When something like this happens, I am astounded that others can seek no glory for themselves, almost counter-intuitive to conventional human nature. Meanwhile, at the end of the day, Manning continues to excel both on the field and in the endzone of life and Broncos fans should count themselves blessed that they have a flagship star who only creates off-the-field headlines for serving others, making the world a little bit better for them.

Brad James is an analyst for MileHighHuddle.com. You can find him on Twitter @BroncosItaly.

Follow MileHighHuddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Denver Broncos tickets and merchandise.


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It turns out that through the efforts of a sportswriter/sportscaster at NBC's Indianapolis affiliate, WTHR-TV Channel 13, Bob Kravitz, a longtime Colts beat writer, Hay was able to fulfill several items on her bucket list in her final days, including visiting the home of the Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, and connecting with Manning.\r\n

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\r\n [MEDIA:1415092]What Is Your Most Memorable Peyton Manning Moment as a Bronco? SOUND OFF IN THE FORUMS!\r\n

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It is fascinating how this came about as sometime this spring, Kravitz received an email from Norris, who is a close friend of Dawn Carson, Hay's daughter, who told of Hay's problems and her requests.\r\n

Kravitz, in a selfless move, forwarded the email to the Colts Chief Operating Officer, Pete Ward, and asked the Colts if they could help Hay make her dreams come true.\r\n

Related Story: Peyton Honors Deceased Fan On His Birthday\r\n

Hay saw one of her wishes realized when Norris, Carson and Carson's sister, Robin, drove her the 76.9 miles on eastbound Interstate 70 from Terre Haute to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium.\r\n

Kravitz reported that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, a cancer survivor himself, punter Pat McAfee and long snapper Matt Overton, came out to meet Hay, sign her football and exchange hugs.\r\n

In fact, Pagano inspired Hay by coining the phrase, “Rita Strong,” an obvious play on the “Chuck Strong” theme employed in 2012 while he was fighting cancer, and at the end of this day, she went home smiling.\r\n

At this point in time, there was no evidence that Manning had done anything but on Tuesday, as I was scouring Twitter as I always do, I found that someone had retweeted Norris' tweet that Manning had called Hay.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

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Kravitz, to whom I am extremely appreciative for his kindness, shared the link with me, and asks that the Broncos, Colts and of course, Manning, receive all the plaudits. This was on the heels of Norris telling me that she wanted no recognition for this piece, instead saying Kravitz deserved all the credit.\r\n\r\n

When something like this happens, I am astounded that others can seek no glory for themselves, almost counter-intuitive to conventional human nature. Meanwhile, at the end of the day, Manning continues to excel both on the field and in the endzone of life and Broncos fans should count themselves blessed that they have a flagship star who only creates off-the-field headlines for serving others, making the world a little bit better for them.\r\n

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Brad James is an analyst for MileHighHuddle.com. You can find him on Twitter @BroncosItaly.\r\n\r\n

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