Not knowing how long she had to live, and with nothing to lose, a breast cancer patient wrote to football player Peyton Manning, sharing how he inspired her. To her surprise, Manning responded by flying her out to the Denver Broncos’ season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, The Indy Star reported.
Kari Barnett Bollig, 45, of Rock Springs, Wyo., has stage 4 breast cancer that has spread through her bones and into her lungs. Instead of making a bucket list, she wrote letters to those who were important to her, including family, friends and teachers— and Manning.
"It was very personal. It was very heartfelt and I never thought anything of it other than I wrote it and sent it," Bollig told IndyStar. "I didn't even know he would get it."
Bollig got a phone call from Manning, who said he had read her letter and wanted to meet her. Manning flew Bollig and her husband, Ed, to Denver, giving them tickets and sideline passes. They watched the Broncos take their team photo, sat in on walk-through practices and took a tour of Mile High Stadium.
Then she met Manning.
"He walked right over after he got his picture taken," Bollig told IndyStar. "It was so sweet because he shakes my hand and says, 'I'm Peyton Manning.' It was cute. It was kind of like, 'I know who you are Peyton.' "
The football superstar and his fan shared a 10-minute conversation. After meeting, he told her, “Keep fighting, Kari. I’ll be praying for you.”