MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Super Bowl is Sunday night in New York, and as always, it’s one of the toughest tickets of the year.
But one Minnesota teenager will be inside MetLife Stadium Sunday night thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation. Our Wish of Month series continues with Anders’ Super Wish.
At 5 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, the airport is a pretty sleepy place. But Anders Jenson is wide awake. That’s because the Minneapolis 15-year-old is on his way to living out a dream.
“We found out we were getting a wish when Make-A-Wish came with a cake that said ‘You’re going to the Super Bowl’ on it. So that was a pretty fun way of finding out that I was going,” Anders said.
Anders bleeds Vikings purple, but he’ll be wearing Broncos orange Sunday because of Peyton Manning.
“I think he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and he really cares about his fans and football in general,” Anders said.
He’ll also be rooting for Denver because of a connection he shares with coach John Fox. They were both born with bicuspid aortic valve, a condition that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood. That can cause dizziness, fatigue or worse.
Fox had been monitoring his condition for years but during Denver’s bye week this season, he collapsed.
“I think when I was laying on the 14th green, I did say a short prayer that God if you get me out of this, I’ll get it fixed now and that’s kind of the way it went,” Fox said.
Sunday, Fox will be coaching his team in the Super Bowl and Anders, who has been battling the same condition all his life, will be there, too.
“Anders has had four open heart surgeries, his most recent one was in 2012. And he’s doing good, but it’s a lot to go through when he’s only 15 years old,” said Mark Jenson, his father.
But, this week, that’s not the focus. The Super Bowl trip is chance to get away and share in something as a family.
“Make-A-Wish has so many cool things scheduled to see whether it’s the commissioner’s office, or Super Bowl Boulevard, we’re going to do as much as we can,” Mark said.
And from the smile that’s been plastered on Anders’ face since Wednesday morning, you can tell he’s enjoying every minute of it.
“I mean it’s something I always wanted to do, I’ve always been a football fan. I’ve always thought going to the Super Bowl would a once in a lifetime experience,” Anders said.
Anders is one of 13 kids with life-threatening medical conditions from around the country who are getting their wish to attend Super Bowl 48. This is the 32nd year in a row that Make-A-Wish has granted a Super Bowl wish. It started in 1982 as the 9th wish the organization ever granted.