Usually, I don’t post for the Weekly Photo Challenge-because photography isn’t my strong suit- but when I saw this week’s prompt was smile, I had to participate, because I have the perfect picture for it.
I love this picture, not only because it forever captured the moment I met Tim Tebow, but because the smile on his face reflects how I felt in that moment: pure, complete, beautiful joy.
I’ve never felt anything quite like that before. The trip to his foundation’s Celebrity Golf Classic was a surprise birthday present from a friend, who knew how much I look up to Timmy (which is how he introduced himself). I’d wanted to meet him for years, and the moment was even more incredible than I’d always thought. The kindness and warmth he treated me with made my nerves fall away, and I knew instantly that my disability didn’t matter to him. To him, I was just Robyn.
I thought the story would end there, but it didn’t. Six months later, he and his foundation granted my W15H to spend time with him. I loved having the opportunity to talk with him, and at one point, I showed him the picture my friend had taken. He loved it too, so much that he posted it on Instagram later that night.
Over the last four years, he and his foundation have done more than grant my W15H. They’ve made me a part of their family. They’re there through everything, offering prayer, encouragement, and always showering me in so much love. This past March, they invited me to their Celebrity Gala-always held the night before the golf tournament- to interview the celebrities as they entered on the red carpet. I loved it. I talked to everyone from Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline to ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt to Florida’s new head football coach, Dan Mullen. And when Timmy walked in and saw me, his face lit up. He made a beeline for me, coming up to wrap me in a hug as soon as we saw each other.
That night I witnessed generosity unlike anything I’ve ever seen before as I watched a crowd of around 300 people donate 1.3 million dollars to the foundation, all of which goes towards helping kids with special needs and life threatening illnesses. I was blown away. It was beautiful to see, but to me that exemplifies what makes Timmy and his foundation so special: they put smiles on the faces of millions of people, day in and day out.
Timmy posted this of him and country singer Eric Church with some of the kids he and TTF invited to the gala.