KUSA - There was a face book message waiting for me on Thursday. I knew the name well. The face on the picture looked far too grown up.
Jacob Broge wrote me about a story we did together. He mentioned his fiancé.
He was 7 years old when he made a trip to Denver from his home in Northern Illinois where the Green Bay Packers were the team of choice for most people.
But, Broge was a Bronco fan.
He and his family invited me to go along on his opportunity to meet one of his personal heroes, for a terrible reason. Broge had been granted a Make A Wish to meet John Elway. It seemed Leukemia might be getting the best of the little boy who had been so brave and optimistic through it all.
"I didn't realize how sick I was back then," he told us via Skype from East Tennessee State University where he is a senior.
He says his family did a good job of protecting him from the kind of health information that kids shouldn't have to hear.
Broge wasn't thinking about any of that on Aug. 23rd 1997. The Broncos played the 49'ers at Mile High Stadium.
He got to be the kick off kid. He ran onto the field to retrieve the tee. He was wearing a #7 Jersey.
"I saw John Elway as the hardest working player, and I looked up to him so much," he said.
Broge promised to work as hard at getting healthy as Elway worked to get to a Super Bowl.
On the sideline that day in '97 he told us. "It's so neat that I can't even really explain it!"
After the game he went into the locker room and nervously asked Elway some questions he had been practicing for weeks.
One question was about Elway's future. Neither of them knew that season would end with a Super Bowl victory over the Packers.
"As I get older, it is even more amazing to say, 'Wow', I really did that. I got to go in the locker room and meet Elway and Terrell Davis and Rod Smith,'" he said.
Jacob Broge is 22 years old now.
"I'm so happy and I am so healthy," he said with a huge smile. "I just got engaged."
He and Nicole are planning a wedding the summer of 2014. Broge will graduate with a degree in Nursing in December.
"I'm really lucky to still be here. It makes me thankful for every single day," he said.
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