The story is enough to soften the hearts of even the most diehard Denver Broncos fans (this writer included). Derrick Coleman, the Seattle Seahawks’ hearing-impaired and tough-as-nails fullback, received a letter recently from 9-year-old Riley Kovalcik, who along with her sister Erin, shares his disability. “I know how you feel.” Riley wrote. “I also have hearing aids. Just try your best. I have faif [faith] in you Derrick.” The girls’ father tweeted the heartfelt letter to Coleman on January 21st. The next day, he tweeted his own letter back. “I want you to know that I always try my best in everything I do and have faith in you and your twin sister too,” Coleman wrote. “Even though we wear hearing aids, we can still accomplish our goals and dreams.” He ended the letter with a wish to meet the girls sometime to “play some sports or games.”
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Well, he did a lot more than that. On Thursday morning, the girls appeared via video stream from their home in New Jersey on Good Morning America, where they were visited by Derrick Coleman himself. The trio took a selfie (naturally), and then Coleman delivered them an even bigger surprise: tickets to the Super Bowl for the whole family. The girls’ reacted with huge smiles and an even bigger hug.
Coleman is the first legally deaf player in the NFL and recently became a bit of a spokesman for people with disabilities after starring in a Duracell commercial that has been viewed almost 14 million times on YouTube. The ad told the story of how Coleman was bullied growing up and that he was told to give up his dream of playing in the NFL. Not surprisingly, this resonated with the Kovalcik twins. “The first time I saw it, we were actually tearing a little bit,” Riley told GMA. “We were so happy that there was actually somebody that was good and could understand everything about hearing aids and that could help you.” Needless to say, this heartwarming Super Bowl story is not soon to be forgotten.