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Tim Tebow Fulfills Ill Girl's Wish, Inspires Her to 'Love Jesus, Love People' in Tough Times

( [email protected] ) Aug 27, 2014 11:50 AM EDT


A Virginia teenager fighting a life-threatening illness had one wish: she wanted to meet Tim Tebow.

However, Haley Burke, who has Ehlers- Danlos syndrome, had no idea what was in store for her when she contacted the former NFL quarterback's foundation in the hopes of meeting her hero.

The Tim Tebow foundation flew Burke and her family to Arizona, where they enjoyed accommodations at the presidential suite at the Scottsdale resort for four days. During their stay, the family enjoyed a day spa, an aerial tour of the Grand Canyon, and Burke even threw out the first pitch at an Arizona Diamondbacks game.

But for Burke, the best part of her trip was spending time with Tebow during a personal training session. He made experience even more special by joining Burke and her family for dinner that night and even spent time praying with them.

Tim Tebow Prays, Fulfills Wish of Terminally Ill Girl
(Photo: Screengrab/Tim Tebow Foundation )

"They're amazing," Tebow, who is an outspoken Christian, told People Magazine. "The entire time I was with them, I was so inspired by their strength and courage in facing every day and every struggle with a positive attitude."

Burke's family expressed gratitude for Tebow's kindness, saying he has inspired the young girl to help others.

"I've not seen her this happy in a long time," said Haley's mother. "She's just been so free and able to not worry about anything--just hearing her say, "mom, I've never felt like this" has meant the world to me."

"This has encouraged her to keep going and to help other people," Burke's mother said. "Tim has made her dreams come true."

"I've never had people take time out of their life like this for me," added Haley. "When things get tough, or things get so crazy, and only two things matter: loving Jesus and loving people."

Tim Tebow,  Make a Wish Foundation
(Photo: Screengrab/Tim Tebow Foundation )

Tebow's humanitarian Foundation works to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences to children facing life-threatening illnesses--a cause that is near and dear to his heart.

"Other than my faith and family, my foundation is the most important thing in my life," Tebow told the magazine. "It allows me to keep so many things in perspective, and it gives me the opportunity to bring people together to invest in the lives of children all around the world."

During his time off the football field, Tebow works as an SEC Network analyst and is training with sports professional  Ian Danney at Performance Enhancement Professionals in Scottsdale, Arizona in the hopes of once again returning to play for the NFL.