Everyone has a dream. That one thing you’ve wanted your whole life that perhaps has remained just out of reach.
For 56-year-old Steven Skinner of Atlanta, Georgia, that lifelong dream has always been one thing — to attend a Super Bowl game live and in person.
A veteran who spent 16 years serving our country in the U.S. Navy, Steven later went on to work in business. All the while, this man remained someone his family could be proud of and look up to.
“When I heard about my dad, it was like the my whole world turned up side down,” 23-year-old Andrew Skinner, Steven’s son, shared with Daily Review Atlas. “I realized nothing would [ever] be the same again.”
Two rounds of radiation, two surgeries, and many chemotherapy pills later, Steven and his family were told he had four to six months to live. That was in November 2018.
With the Super Bowl just months away at that time, and with only months given to this man who spent so much of his life serving others, it seemed his dream might not come to fruition.
But his son Andrew wouldn’t have it. He wanted nothing more than to see his dad attend that Super Bowl game, which just so happened to be taking place in their home town for 2019.
“I just made a decision,” Andrew texted his mom, Lisa Skinner, one day. “I’m gonna get dad to the Super Bowl.”
A GoFundMe campaign was soon initiated. The goal was $30,000, enough to send Steven and some family members to the game of his dreams.
The campaign was affectionately entitled “The Commander’s Final Send-off.” Word spread like wildfire and it wasn’t long before the Skinners raised enough money to attend Super Bowl LIII — and then some.
To date, the fund has raised over $40,000. An update on the campaign’s page says the family plans to donate the excess funds.
“We are planning on donating all the extra money we raise to a cancer foundation to help continue raise awareness of glioblastoma,” the update reads. “If anyone has any recommendations of which charity we should look into we would love to hear what you guys have to say.”
So many reached out in love to this man, but in the end, it was a call from a kind stranger that shocked the family.
The call came from Mike Medici, the president of Premier Transportation. “I said ‘Drew, I can’t take you and your dad to the Super Bowl,'” Medici told Inside Edition. “‘But we can take your whole family.'”
“I was speechless,” Lisa said. “All I could say was ‘thank you’ over and over again.” Steven’s son feels the same.
“You’re at the Super Bowl” Wish granted as Steven Skinner, husband/dad/football fan w brain cancer arrives in a suite @MBStadium courtesy one of our viewers @wsbtv from Fayette Co #SBLIII @NFL @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/YukGZV4PWd
— Jovita Moore (@JovitaMoore) February 3, 2019
“He and his family are big Patriot fans,” Andrew told Daily Review Atlas, speaking of Medici. “Our host has arranged transportation and everything for us to make the day easy on our family and comfortable for Dad.”
And so, the day finally came for Steven and his family to join Medici at the game. It was truly an experience to remember. A day that this family will no doubt cherish forever.
The greatest #SuperBowl story might have just taken place halfway up from the field. A truly heartwarming moment for Steven Skinner – here’s why: https://t.co/HXgmJiVyN1 #wSB53 #SBLIII pic.twitter.com/TolhhSRBV3
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) February 4, 2019
“The greatest #SuperBowl story might have just taken place halfway up from the field,” WSB-TV wrote on Twitter. “A truly heartwarming moment for Steven Skinner.”
We’re so glad this family had the chance to experience this once in a lifetime dream become reality for their father and husband.
My Super Bowl MVP … Steven Skinner!!! pic.twitter.com/Oy8eUSrpRz
— Jeff Holt (@JeffHolt6) February 4, 2019
Though those bright, football field lights have faded, and the family has much to face ahead, we believe this man’s legacy will live on through the lives he’s touched.
“Steven wanted to be known as a good dad, a good husband,” his wife Lisa told Inside Edition. If his son’s determination to fulfill his dad’s dream says anything about his upbringing, we think it’s clear Steven’s deepest wish has come true.
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