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“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Matt Overton is just a man with a dream like you and I. He is a man with a heart of gold, just like the awareness color that represents the cancer I had only a short year and a half ago. He is a friend, a football player for the Indianapolis Colts, a country music fanatic, and a hero. I met Matt on Twitter one morning when I was being admitted back into the oncology ward with a blood infection. I was supposed to have a week off of treatment and time back at home with my family, but cancer had other plans. I tweeted at Matt saying that I would love to meet him sometime. He responded within minutes, tweeting to 44,000+ followers and asking them to pray for me, calling me a beautiful inspiration. I also received a direct message asking me where I was located so that he could meet up with me. A few hours later, there he was at my hospital room door with a grin on his face and the eagerness to know my story. I am twenty years old and at eighteen I was diagnosed with high grade osteosarcoma. It hit me very hard when I was diagnosed, only for the fact that I had plans to move out in less than a month from my day of diagnosis and attend IUPUI here in Indianapolis. I wanted to live, I wanted to study nursing, and I wanted to be a normal eighteen year old. But cancer had other plans. Matthew continued to visit me, send me flowers, text me and check up on me, and inspire me as he consistently showed his compassion to help others who were sick like myself. He surprised me on the eve of homecoming at my hometown high school, where as the reigning homecoming queen, it was my job to crown the next lady who would represent my high school. He and Pat McAfee escorted me onto the football field where they smiled and made me feel as if I was invincible for a little while. It was one of the best nights of my life. Six months ago I celebrated my cancerversary and biggest milestone, my one year cancer free mark. My parents threw a small party for me at a restaurant here in Indianapolis where my family and friends gathered to celebrate being healthy and happy for a year. Matthew took the time out of his busy personal life, during the off season of his career where he spends a lot of his time back in California, to come to my party and once again prove his compassion. There is no one person who is more deserving of this award. Matthew is a man who loves giving his time to kids who may not have much time left. I am blessed beyond measure to have met someone so humble, and his astounding attitude only continues to give humanity a good name. He is my hero, an inspiration to many, and a role model to us all.” – Madeline H.


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