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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tim Tebow: Making a Wish Come True

Adam Hubbs' wish was to spend a day with Broncos QB Tim Tebow.

"When Adam played sports, he was a very hard worker and always played hard," said Peggy Hubbs, Adam's mother. "But there was never any celebration or what he thought was showboating. He just tried to win. And I think what he really liked about Tim was that he approached it the same way."

When Adam needed a bone marrow transplant in 2010, no living donors were found to be a perfect match. He had to wait for blood from an umbilical cord to be shipped in, and the delay was substantial. He had to wear a mask everywhere to avoid potentially deadly germs. Then came the chemotherapy.

Adam missed his friends and his pet corgi, Dash. And he missed playing sports. And that wasn't even the worst of it.

This January, Adam suffered a stroke, which completely paralyzed the left side of his body.

"The stroke was devastating," Peggy said. "With everything else, we knew he could work through it. We knew he would get back to his old self, and we would get the old Adam back. But with this ..."

With time and hard work, Adam has begun to recover some of the usage he lost from his stroke. Doctors believe he'll get most of it back. But for the time being, and maybe forever, Adam's involvement in football has been relegated to watching Tebow.

Eventually, the paths of these two athletes would intersect, as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and ESPN's My Wish series. An ESPN camera crew, disguised to Adam as a group filming a documentary for the hospital, watched as Tebow called and invited Adam to spend a day with him in Florida.

"I didn't really believe it was him," Adam said. "He said, 'This is Tim Tebow,' and I said, 'Are you sure?'"

The Hubbs family arrived in mid-June to the boardwalk at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex, and Tebow rode up on a surrey bike to take Adam for a ride. They talked about football, and Adam poked fun at the quarterback for crying on national television after losing in the championship game.

They played video games, and things even got a little competitive. "Tim wanted to win, Adam wanted to win and they both played hard," Peggy said. "There was none of this 'letting you win' stuff. And I think that's what Adam wanted."

Adam and Tebow spent the day together, comparing cellphone pictures of their dogs and playing catch. Adam threw the ball with his right hand to Tebow, who handed it back.

"It was amazing because it was just like two guys just hanging out for the day, and that's exactly what Adam wanted," Peggy said. "He didn't want tickets to a Broncos game or to go in the locker room or whatever. He just wanted to hang out and spend some time with Tim and talk to him just as a football player. And that's exactly what he got. It was perfect."

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