GREENFIELD — When Wayne and Carrie Addison answered the knock at their front door, the last thing they expected was a free pass to the experience of a lifetime.
As the Greenfield couple stepped onto the front porch, they were greeted by Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. The right guard was accompanied by the team’s mascot, Blue, and a few cheerleaders.
Wearing his No. 75 jersey along with a blue-and-white Santa hat, Mewhort grinned at the dumbfounded couple and began to speak.
“We heard you’ve been having some tough times, so we wanted to stop by and show our appreciation, and we’re gonna send you guys to the Super Bowl,” Mewhort can be heard on a video capturing the moment before the family was handed two giant cardboard tickets.
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After a year that was jam-packed with medical and emotional hardship, the Addison family was given a much-needed break from the pain, Wayne Addison said. With hopes that Carrie, who has lung cancer, remains healthy enough to travel, the couple plans to fly to Minneapolis on Feb. 4 for an all-expense-paid trip to Super Bowl LII.
Part of the family’s luck is thanks to Wayne Addison’s best friend, Jerry Rogers. Rogers is a representative at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, one of the Indianapolis Colts’ five largest sponsors.
Every year the Indianapolis Colts give away 10 tickets to the Super Bowl, regardless of which teams are playing, Rogers said. They call their sponsors, looking for nominations of people who have fallen on hard times so they could reach out to them and give away a free Super Bowl weekend.
Knowing the year his friend just went through, Rogers didn’t think twice about whom to nominate.
Rogers and Addison have been close since childhood, he said. Knowing the battle the Addisons had been fighting for the past year, Rogers told the Colts’ rep that the Addisons were perfect candidates for the program.
About one year ago, Carrie Addison was diagnosed with lung cancer, despite never having smoked a day in her life. December marked the anniversary of her first chemotherapy treatment, she said.
“The doctors told us the good, the bad and the ugly. And most of it was ugly,” Wayne Addison said. “When she was diagnosed with cancer, truly it was like a baseball bat smacking you upside the face.”
On top of that, their first granddaughter, Brynlee, was born with spina bifida, a birth defect where the spinal cord does not properly develop.
Wayne and Carrie Addison serve as the perfect example of how terrible things can happen to great people, Rogers said. Wayne’s auction business, Another Addison Auction, conducts frequent benefit events, and the couple give generously to the community they live in, he said.
While the heartache never truly leaves, this surprise was certainly a spirit lifter, Wayne Addison said.
“I’m an auctioneer, so I’m never speechless. But what the heck do you do when something like this happens?” Wayne Addison said.
The NFL team will take care of everything they need for the three-day trip, including travel, lodging, food and admission.
Learning of the city in which Super Bowl LII will be played, Carrie Addison made sure her husband had the trip’s priorities in order. Going to the game was important, but there’s another stop they need to make when they visit Minnesota.
“When I found out it was in Minneapolis, I said, ‘We have to go to the Mall of America,'” Carrie Addison said.
No matter which teams take the field, the duo plan on wearing true blue in gratitude of their hometown team, Wayne Addison said.
“If they put me on TV, you’ll see me wearing No. 75 in a Colts jersey, cheering proudly,” Wayne Addison said.
Wayne Addison is grateful for the love and support the Colts and his community have given the couple. It makes it easier to hold on to what’s good even in life’s dark moments, he said, adding that his wife inspires him endlessly.
“She’s fighting every day, and that’s what we’re going to do” Wayne Addison said. “Just be blessed with today and hope tomorrow we’ll be blessed again.”