In recent days, comments putting Tim Tebow under friendly fire were released, with Broncos backup quarterback Brady Quinn, questioning Tebow's public displays of faith in an interview with Yahoo! Sports' own Michael Silver (and then swiftly apologizing for those very comments). So many have wondered why Tebow didn't speak up about the scathing commentary from a teammate. It turns out there's a good reason for that: He was preoccupied fulfilling the dream of a 9-year-old with a severe tumor disorder.
As reported by Denver Fox affiliate KDVR, Tebow's Wish 15 Foundation stepped in to offer now 10-year-old Parker, Colo., resident Presli Collins (she turned 10 on Tuesday) a chance to be Tebow's date to the 2012 Cartoon Network "Hall of Game" awards in Los Angeles.
Presli Collins suffers from a rare condition called Neurofibromatosis-1, an inherited tumor disorder in which tumors can grow under a patient's skin and form in nerves that extend from the brain and spinal cord.
As it turns out, Collins and her father were invited to the Cartoon Network awards first after the TV station learned of her condition, but when Tebow learned the Parker youngster was a huge fan, he offered to accompany the tyke and serve as her first official date. Unsurprisingly, Collins was more than a bit excited to accept the invitation.
"[Attending the awards with Tebow was] very, very, very exciting," Collins told KDVR. "[Tebow] was a thousand times nicer than you think he is."
By stepping forward to chaperone a youngster in need, Tebow also served to highlight the differences between himself and some of his teammates. While disparaging comments from Quinn were hitting the airwaves, Tebow was quietly spending his own free time doing something for a child he had never met, helping to distract her from the strange medical condition which afflicts her and which can become severely degenerative.
"Thank you for being an amazing date," Presli said with a wide smile.
No matter who else steps forward to try and attack Tebow's ability or prospects of future NFL success, no one can take away his penchant for class in charity work, or what it means to those who receive his time and aid.
"I can't even express how grateful we are for the opportunity she's had [and] the joy she's had," Collins' mother, Lisa Collins, told KDVR. "My husband last night said that the whole weekend he's never seen her smile and be as happy as she was."
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- Lisa Collins