LOVELAND - Tim Tebow leaves behind some pretty big fans here in Colorado. One Loveland teenager has admired Tebow since he played for Florida; she says he's her hero.
"He sets an example for many people to hopefully follow in his footsteps," 16-year-old Bailey Knaub said.
Bailey has Wegener's granulomatosis, a rare disease that attacks her vital organs. On March 15, Bailey had her 74th surgery. She's living with just one lung and she had been having trouble breathing.
In January, Tebow invited Bailey to be his guest to the Broncos-Steelers playoff game. After the Broncos incredible win that night, Tebow said spending time with Bailey was the bigger victory.
"I was walking on air," Bailey said. "It's just amazing that such a big celebrity would pay attention to me even though he had so much to worry about, it was a playoff game, he still came over and said, 'Hi Bailey, I'm glad to meet you.'"
Bailey's cousin had written to the Tim Tebow Foundation, sharing Bailey's story.
Now, Bailey has received another invite from the new New York Jet: Bailey and her mom get a trip to Florida in April. They'll go to a charity golf tournament, Bailey will say a prayer at a banquet and they'll get to hang out with Denver's former QB once again.
"I'm just excited to go, I am just so excited to see him again," Bailey said. "It helps take my mind off things and shows me that I too can help people when I'm older and help kids just like me."
Bailey's mom, Kathy Knaub, says Tebow is "the real deal." He makes Bailey feel special, happy and blessed, and Kathy says her daughter's hero has lived up to all expectations.
"Bailey had a hero and sometimes you meet the hero and they're not quite what they seem or as good as they seem when you meet them in person," Kathy Knaub told 9NEWS. "When she got to meet Tim, he was even better than she thought and that's pretty remarkable."
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