A four-year-old leukaemia patient received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to toss a football and ‘Tebow’ with Tim Tebow Saturday. Preston Winslow from Durham, North Carolina met with the NFL quarterback at his training facility in Tampa, Florida following several calls from the football player inviting the boy and his family down. ‘What’s up man?’, Tebow greeted the small boy who wore a number 15 Denver Broncos jersey, the same number as his. Preston’s mom Celeste Winslow said the first call from the Broncos player a few weeks prior came completely out of the blue, catching her family by surprise. ‘I answer it and I’m like “hello?” and the person on the other end was like, “Hi Celeste, this is Tim Tebow,” and in shock, I was like “no way”,’ Mrs Winslow excitedly recalled to WTVD.
Preston has painstakingly battled Acute Myeloid Leukaemia since early 2010. Taking the boy’s hand, the two walked onto the indoor sports field together which – to his parents’ surprise – led to the two running and playing around. ‘Are you ready to catch it?’, Tebow asked the boy according to WPTV. ‘Are you chasing me?’ ‘It amazes me at how much energy he had out there playing and running around. He didn’t even want to stop,’ said Mrs Winslow. Despite a fundraiser to afford a bone marrow transplant for the Winslows’ son in June 2011, six months after the treatment, which included finding a bone marrow match in a girl in Germany, his family learned that Preston’s cancer had returned.
‘After two rounds of chemo, we have been told that treatment has not worked and Preston will not be able to move forward with a second transplant,’ his parents updated their son’s web page, PrestonsLeague.com, which has kept track of his progress. With Preston’s father being a University of Florida graduate, like Tebow, Preston has watched the Gators all his life, following the star athlete all the way to the Broncos. ‘I just think that it’s so wonderful that Tim reaches out to these kids you know, who have these health issues and this prognosis and gives him his time and gives them some extra happiness,’ said Mrs Winslow.
The two passed a football back and forth, following with a high-five from the athlete who eagerly congratulated him.
Leaving no opportunity missed, Tebow also took time to show the boy how to ‘Tebow’ with him, as it’s called – a popular reference to the athlete’s kneel for prayer during games.
Preston mimicked the stance, with both resting their left elbow on their left knee while their right knee stayed firmly on the ground.
In a final one-on-one opportunity, the boy did present the athlete with a single candid question, in asking what kind of car he drives.
But the answer, which we’re told was given to the boy, was asked to be kept private.
Those in attendance reported Tebow being clearly moved by the boy’s courage.