Sick girl thanks Tim Tebow for visiting her and being an example of 'loving Jesus and loving people'
A Tim Tebow fan with a life-threatening illness experienced a dream come true this month.
The former NFL star flew Haley Burke and her family to Arizona for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and took the time to minister to her as well.
Burke, 15, was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – an incurable connective tissue disorder that can cause blood vessel and organ rupture. Her family contacted the Tim Tebow Foundation's W15H programme to fulfil her dream of meeting the former quarterback.
In addition to flying the family out to meet Tebow, the foundation put them in a presidential suite of a hotel, provided limousine transportation, and treated them to spa treatments, an aerial tour of the Grand Canyon, and zip-lining. Burke also got to throw the first pitch at an Arizona Diamondbacks game, and experienced what it is like to be an athletic trainer – her career goal.
Burke's mother, Jamie, said what the W15H programme did for her daughter was incredible.
"I've not seen her this happy in a long time," she said. "She's just been so free and able to not worry about anything—just hearing her tell me, 'Mom, I've never felt like this' has meant the world to me. You've made her dreams come true."
Jamie also said that being able to fellowship with Tebow inspired hope within her daughter.
"Her time with Tim has meant the most to her and to me," she revealed. "Just her getting that time with him and being able to talk... he's inspired her. She's happy, she's stronger... this has encouraged her to keep going, and to keep helping other people."
During the W15H experience, the teen was "Princess Haley," and she said that she has never felt so special.
"I've never had people take time out of their life like this for me," she shared. "
"[Tebow] told me, 'When things get tough, or things get so crazy, only two things really matter: loving Jesus and loving people.' And that's true."
Tebow said that working with youth through the W15H programme impacts his life as well.
"Other than my faith and family, my foundation is the most important thing in my life," he told PEOPLE. "It allows me to keep so many things in perspective, and it gives me the opportunity to bring people together to invest in the lives of children all around the world.
"My goal has always been to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. I've been so blessed to have a platform where I can influence and, hopefully, impact these incredible children."
Watch Haley's W15H experience in the video below. For more information about the Tim Tebow Foundation, visit their website.