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Colts owner Jim Irsay sends local kids to Super Bowl LVII

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Several children from central Indiana enjoyed Super Bowl LVII in person, thanks to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. He sent at least three recent young hospital patients and their families to Arizona.

“I had a good time! Thank you Jim Irsay! The Chiefs won! Go Colts, go Chiefs,” 15-year-old Jaylen Applewhite said after the Super Bowl.

Jaylen is a huge Chiefs fan. He is a football player at Purdue Polytechnic High School, but last fall, he spent three months at Ascension St. Vincent’s Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

After a football camp in the summer of 2022, Jaylen got Epstein-Barr Virus, which caused mononucleosis and severe brain and spine swelling. He was in a coma for two weeks, on a ventilator, and was paralyzed for two more weeks. 

Jaylen has made a full recovery and was even throwing the football at pre-Super Bowl events on Sunday. He wants to both be an engineer and play in the NFL one day. For Jaylen, the trip to the game was a dream come true.

Irsay also made Super Bowl dreams a reality for two kids from Riley Hospital for Children. He tweeted at the game pictures of several of the kids he sent to the game.

18-year-old Cade Thompson is in remission from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, after 29 rounds of chemo and surgery to remove a mass in his knee. He’s also a multi-sport athlete at Ben Davis High School, has a passion for playing football, and says he was speechless when he got the game tickets.

“I’m just speechless. It’s crazy. I’ve never been in this situation before, and right now, I’m just trying to take it all in,” Cade said.

12-year-old Brian Barbour III has cystic fibrosis and loves football. He even met Colts quarterback Matt Ryan this season and was in shock when he found out he was headed to the game.

“I never really got this opportunity before. I was shocked that they picked me out of all the other people,” Brian said.

For all of these kids, going to the Super Bowl was an experience they definitely won’t forget.