Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York wish kid Tyler was not in awe when he met his heroes on the Pittsburgh Steelers after watching the team practice at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in Pittsburgh on a September Friday. The 18-year-old was smiling, laughing, interacting with the team – and the players were smiling and laughing with him.
These Steelers connected with the charismatic teen.
“Meeting all the team was really nice,” said the 18-year-old Tyler, of Malone. “They were all friendly. They’re all down to earth -- really nice guys.”
When wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster met Tyler on the field, the star asked him if he was going inside the facility, because he had something to give him. The receiver got caught up with something, and the two did not meet up again. But the receiver did not forget about Tyler.
The next day, a special delivery arrived for Tyler at his hotel: a pair of cleats and gloves, autographed by Smith-Schuster.
That Monday night, the teen, who is battling chronic kidney disease, went to the Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game at Heinz Field, and visited the radio broadcast booth. He even later danced with the Steelers’ mascot!
“It was the weekend of a lifetime, honestly,” said Tyler, whose wish was assisted by Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia. “I had a lot of fun, walked around the stadium, and the Steelers game was awesome.
“Make-A-Wish and this weekend meant a lot because I know I went through a lot. It really did.”