Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman recently shared with the world the hardships he faced in becoming the first legally deaf NFL player.
His story, which was featured in a dramatic Duracell battery commercial, touched millions of viewers, especially the people who could truly relate.
Nine-year-old Riley Kovalcik shared her admiration for Coleman’s success as she, and her twin sister, Erin also were born with hearing impairments. Young Riley wrote Coleman an open letter that quickly went viral, to which he too responded publicly. But that’s not where the story ends.
The twins were flown out to NYC on January 28 to attend a taping of Good Morning America as they shared their letter and background to the world. Little did they know, they were about to get the biggest football gift a fan could receive.
Tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl where Coleman’s Seahawks are facing off against the Denver Broncos.
“The first time I saw it, we were actually tearing a little bit,” Riley, of New Jersey, told “Good Morning America.” “We were so happy that there was actually somebody that was good and could understand everything about hearing aids and that could help you.”
“And he actually, he speaks for saying that anything can be done, even with a disability,” she said.
Coleman taking time from his pre-Super Bowl schedule to meet with the twins was only the first surprise he brought with him.
“On behalf of Duracell, we want to invite you guys to the Super Bowl,” he told Riley and Erin. “You and your little brother, your dad, your mom…come watch us play.”
“Really?” and “Seriously?” were at first the only words the twins could utter, before eventually giving their hero a hug and a “thank you.”
Memories like this last a lifetime. View the gallery to see pics of the Super Bowl surprise.
Photo: ABC, Charles Sykes/Invision for Duracell, Twitter, Life Is A Highway Photography