Casey Hayward was granted two Super Bowl tickets to donate as he saw fit after being named the Chargers' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award,
After much thought and consideration, the Pro Bowler ultimately decided to give his tickets to Matthew, a wish recipient from the Make-A-Wish Orange County and Inland Empire Chapter who has a history of acute lymphatic leukemia.
"For somebody who may have struggled, and I've been through struggles but not feeling sick, I know how people feel in these certain situations," Hayward, who lost his mother to cancer, said. "To give it to (someone like that) and someone who wanted to go (meant a lot). (Matthew) really wanted to go to the game and I hope he enjoys it. I hope he really enjoys this moment because a lot of people don't get to go to the Super Bowl. Those tickets are pretty expensive!"
"It was one of the most exciting moments of my life," Matthew said. "There are really no words to explain it. It's just an amazing feeling."
Before meeting Hayward on the field, Matthew took a tour of Hoag Performance Center, citing the locker room as his favorite part.
"It was pretty enjoyable to see the jerseys, the workout room and (what happens) behind the scenes," he mentioned.
Then, Hayward took the field to present Matthew with the tickets. But, that wasn't all he received. He also walked away with a pair of gloves and signed pair of cleats from Drew Kaser.
Along with the tickets, the Chargers and Make-A-Wish partnered to provide airfare and hotel accommodations for Matthew and his brother-in-law who will attend the game with him.
Today, the Chargers and Make-A-Wish created a once in a lifetime experience for a young football fan as Matthew, a Costa Mesa resident, was presented 2 tickets to Super Bowl 52 courtesy of Chargers Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee and Pro Bowl Cornerback Casey Hayward.