Nine-year-old Highlands, Illinois resident and Special Olympics athlete Christian Osborn is eagerly anticipating Sunday’s New York Jets game against the St. Louis Rams because he will meet his favorite sports hero, Tim Tebow. Diagnosed at the age of two with white matter brain disorder, Christian struggles with a disease that makes learning and simple everyday tasks like walking and talking challenging.
For children and families battling life-threatening illnesses, the excitement of watching an NFL game and spending time with the Jets quarterback brings renewed hope and joy, especially to a young boy who looks to Tebow as a role model. Christian and his family will set aside his medical battles this Sunday to create lasting memories as they spend time with Tebow during Sunday’s pre-game warm-ups and post-game. For nine-year-old Christian, the weekend will be nothing short of unforgettable.
“When we got the call about him meeting Tim I was touched, cried and have not stopped smiling. This is unbelievable and I am so happy for Christian. I will cry so many happy tears on Sunday,” stated Kristi Osborn, Christian’s mother.
Earlier this year, Christian began experiencing seizures and a faster than normal heart rate, which a medical procedure called heart ablation will hopefully soon remedy. Christian may also have to battle epilepsy for the rest of his life. Despite the medical challenges facing Christian and his family, his dream of meeting his all-time favorite athlete, Tim Tebow, will erase those challenges – at least for one crisp, autumn day in November.
And in the meantime, Christian’s contagious smile continues to brighten the lives of his family, who together with Christian, will forget the struggles associated with his disease and celebrate a mutual love of sports with his hero.
The Tim Tebow Foundation’s W15H program, in partnership with Dreams Come True of Jacksonville, Florida, fulfills the dreams of children like Christian to meet NFL quarterback, Tebow. As part of his dream, Christian will receive a W15H gift package that includes exclusive W15H luggage, a Nike duffle bag, Nike and Jockey gift cards, Tim Tebow’s book, Through My Eyes, a Florida Gators 2008 National Championship book, a personalized Bible and more goodies.