Jesse’s Dream Trip to the Big House!
Jesse, 12 with Down syndrome is a GIANT University of Michigan Football fan. He knows all the players, he cheers for them during every game, and doesn’t like when any of them get hurt. He dressed like Coach Harbaugh for Halloween one year. Jesse’s mom knew for Jesse’s Dream there was only one option, a trip to the Big House to see Michigan Football win. Thank you to the All-Volunteer Space Coast Chapter for making Jesse’s Dream Come True!
“I can’t possibly put into words how truly grateful I am for opportunity The Sunshine Foundation and The University of Michigan Football program gave my son, but I’m going to try. He has always had a love for Michigan football and looks up to these men as role models. Thanks to some very special people in the Michigan Football Program and The Sunshine Foundation Jesse was about to be in for the surprise of his life. As soon as Jesse saw the first sign for Ann Arbor he immediately started yelling “Ann Arbor, John, John”. He knew instantly where we were going and who we were there to see. When we first arrived to Shembechler Hall we met with JT, Coach Harbaugh’s right hand man. He had lanyards made for us and gave us a tour of the locker room of their practice field, Al Glick field, and the museum. While we were there we ran into Chase Winovich and Wilton Speight. Jesse greeted his old friends with hugs and excitement to see some of his players again. We waited outside to meet up with John O’Korn and while waiting all of the players showed up for team meetings and they all took time for Jesse and pictures. The next day we did some shopping and drove over to the stadium for pictures and headed back to Shembechler Hall where a helmet was waiting for Jesse. He wore the helmet most of the way back to the hotel. We went out that night to the fall festival and took in the sights around campus. Now it’s game day. Jesse was dressed just like Coach Harbaugh for the game with his signature sweatshirt, hat, and khakis. We got to the stadium early for some tailgating where we met up with some friends and picked up our tickets. They had arranged for us to have field passes! We watched the team arrive and Jesse’s guy John O’Korn came over to say hi on his way into the locker room. Then we walked through the iconic tunnel and onto the field of the best stadium in college football! We hung out by the end zone and watched as our guys warmed up. We had to keep Jesse from running out on the field to join them. While we were there Coach Mattison, Chris Evan, Khalid Hill, and Henry Poggi all came over for pictures. We made our way to our seats and watched our Wolverines beat Rutgers 35-14! After that we went into the Family Center where Jesse greeted all of the players with hugs of congratulations and got pictures and autographs on his helmet. He even got some time with Coach Harbaugh himself! Sunday was a pretty laid back day. We explored some more and did more shopping, then it was back to the hotel to prepare to head home the next morning. These are memories that will stay with Jesse and I forever. Thank you so much Sunshine Foundation and Space Coast Chapter!” – Erin – Jesse’s mom