Nothing, not even a hypoplastic heart, can keep 10-year-old Teddy from watching sports and rooting for his favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Make-A-Wish®, wanting to give Teddy the strength to tackle challenges of his own, made his most desired wish come true — meeting his favorite player, Troy Polamalu.
At breakfast that morning with his family, Teddy, still having no idea his wish had been granted, was presented with cookies unveiling his surprise. When Teddy came to the realization he was going to be spending the day with his sports idol, he squealed with excitement the entire way to the Steelers training camp.
Teddy was the guest of honor as he met the team and got his picture taken with different players. Not only was he gifted a football adorned with each team member’s signature, but he also got to join the team on the field for practice and in the cafeteria for lunch. One player even gave Teddy a pair of his spikes! Teddy’s father said, “This is [Teddy’s] dream and it lifts his spirits.” He also said this day “meant the world,” and described the entire wish fulfillment as “priceless.”
The family redeemed the second part of the wish a few months later when they were given the opportunity to attend a Steelers home game at Heinz Field. They left their home, in Portage, PA, to spend the weekend in Pittsburgh. Not only did they witness a Steelers victory that weekend, but also received the added bonus of attending the Carnegie Western PA Sports Museum and having dinner at the Hard Rock Café.
Teddy’s father could not begin to explain how his wish was going to help give Teddy the power to overcome his heart problems and “give him the strength to keep on going.” Watching the Pittsburgh Steelers play now means so much more to Teddy. From now on, whenever he watches his favorite players, he will recall all the amazing memories from the day he spent with Troy Polamalu and the rest of the team.