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Peyton Manning surprises teacher battling cancer with prayers and encouragement

The diehard fan couldn't believe it when she picked up the phone on Halloween

Peyton Manning surprises teacher battling cancer with prayers and encouragement

One Texas teacher thought someone was playing a prank on her when she picked up the phone from an “unknown” caller.

Rhonda Jacobs, a diehard Peyton Manning fan, couldn’t believe her ears when who other than Peyton Manning called her on Halloween.

Jacobs, according to Fox95, “was diagnosed with cancer in July” and had always wanted to meet her football hero. The school nurse at Teague Elementary, Nikki Seymour, knew of Jacobs admiration of Manning and decided to contact the PeyBack Foundation to see what they could do for her.

According to the description on the organization’s website, “Peyton Manning established the PeyBack Foundation in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk. The PeyBack Foundation has provided more than $10 million of impact to at risk youth through its grants and programs since its inception to Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana and Tennessee. The Foundation supports numerous organizations and programs through its grant program, but also operates and funds several of its own programs for underprivileged children.”

While Jacobs is not an underprivileged youth, Seymour decided to contact them anyway, knowing that the organization worked closely with Manning.

Seymour explained, “I wrote the organization and explained that we are not kids, but you are not going to meet a bigger fan than her. Within 30 minutes, his agent, who works side-by side with Peyton, called me…Peyton wanted to do something special for Rhonda. It was amazing how quickly the organization responded to me.”

Manning then called Jacobs and offered her words of encouragement as she continues to battle cancer.

Jacobs said Manning’s words were a great boost and a wonderful surprise, “He said there will be dark days and I told him that I have already experienced some of those, but he said you just have to go through adversity and keep your faith strong.”

Besides offering comforting words, Manning ensured Jacobs of his prayers, saying, “Well, I do know you have a lot of prayers. I’ve heard a lot of people are praying for you. I’ve been praying for you, so you can add me to your list because I’ve added you to mine.”

Jacobs said this moment of kindness from Manning was the “just the medicine she needed” to continue fighting cancer.

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Philip Kosloski

Philip Kosloski is a husband and father of five, and staff writer at Aleteia. He also writes for The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), and blogs at the National Catholic Register.