This is actually a really touching story, and not in the good touch/bad touch sort of way–it’s simply amazing. Down in Orlando, Freedom High School’s girls’ soccer team retired #12 at their final game of the season. That #12 belongs to a very special and spirited girl named Bree McMahon, whose legs were crushed in an incident with a car during a car wash fundraiser in September. After eight operations and on-ongoing rehabilitation, Bree is already learning to walk with a prosthesis. Before proudly sending her team out onto the field the night of January 13th, she left them with these words,
“Never give up. If anyone says ‘No’ or that ‘You can’t’ then push harder and prove them wrong. If you try your hardest and never give up, you’ll never have anything to regret.”–Fanhouse
It is words like these, her courage and her strength that made a huge impact on Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell and his wife, who live in Orlando and keep up with their hometown news.
“The first time I contacted her, her reply back was, ‘If you’re praying for me, you need to pray for the driver of the car. She’s my best friend,'” Longwell said Friday, after the Vikings wrapped up their final practice in preparation for Sunday’s playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. “I mean, for somebody in that situation to be able to look at others and worry about others, that just says a lot about her heart and her drive. She’s an amazing girl.”–Fanhouse
Ryan and Bree talk regularly on the phone and via text. Rather than being a rock for her and helping her keep it together, she has been a major inspiration for him and the way he views life. Heading into the NFC playoff game against Dallas, Bree McMahon will most certainly be on his mind. Longwell’s field goal percentage this season is the highest it has ever been at 92.9% (up 7.6% over last season) and his PAT is at 98.2%. Though she was raised a Dolfan, there is no doubt that Bree will be cheering on Longwell and the Vikings harder than anyone else tomorrow.