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Peyton Manning brings dying fan to game

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning made a heartfelt gesture by bringing an Indiana woman dying of breast cancer to Sunday’s season-opening game.

Kari Barnett Bollig, a longtime Manning fan while he played for the Indianapolis Colts, has Stage 4 breast cancer, which has spread throughout her bones and into her lungs.

When Manning left for Denver, Bollig said she still felt a certain connection to him. After getting the news she is dying, Bolling started writing letters to people thanking them for contributing to her life.

Manning was among those she thanked.

“I have followed Peyton Manning forever, especially being an Indiana girl,” Bollig told the Indianapolis Star. “I just thought, ‘Well shoot. I’m going to write him a letter and tell him how much he inspires me, not just because he’s a football player, but for what he does off the field. It was very personal. It was very heartfelt and I never thought anything of it other than I wrote it and sent it. I didn’t even know he would get it.”

Bollig did get a call from the future Hal of Famer, telling her that he had read the letter and wanted to meet her.

“I kind of stammered and stuttered around,” Bollig told the newspaper. “And then I said, ‘Are you kidding me?'”

Manning flew Bollig and her husband to Denver, spent time with them over the weekend and got them sideline passes for Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

“It was real easy and laid back, not at all nerve-racking,” Bolling said. “He’s welcoming. He’s like a gentle giant. It was such a personal moment. It was a once in a lifetime thing.”

Bollig recounts how Manning chose to introduce himself to her.

“It was so sweet because he shakes my hand and says, ‘I’m Peyton Manning.’ It was cute. It was kind of like, ‘I know who you are Peyton.'”


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