Sports are more than just wins and losses. They’re inspiring, they build role models we look up to, and our favorite teams become a part of our DNA at an early age. In particular, college athletics define small communities and rally neighbors for something that each and every one of them gets to be a part of.
Gloria Butler grew up a South Carolina Gamecocks fan. From the first time she saw South Carolina beat Clemson as a teenager, she’s followed the program from afar for more than 50 years. After being diagnosed with Stage III lung cancer and given only six months to one year to live, she had one wish: to see a Gamecocks football game in person for the first time in her life.
When Mandy Power explained the final things she wanted to do for her mother after the terminal cancer diagnosis, her fiancé, Nate Henderson, purchased four tickets to South Carolina’s game against the Texas A&M Aggies on October 13, which happens to fall three days after Gloria’s 70th birthday.
Power recorded her mother’s reaction, and the video has become a viral sensation across Facebook in only a few days.
What an incredible moment. If you had the chance to ever do something like this for a family member, especially somebody who raised you as a single mom, please do it exactly like Mandy and Nate did.
After the video began circling the Internet, Power’s Facebook inbox flooded with people offering to pay for handicap accessible parking, get a golf cart to shuttle Gloria to and from Williams-Brice Stadium, and a GoFundMe page has raised over $1,000 for hotel rooms and meals to make the weekend in Columbia, South Carolina incredible.
What’s even better is that, according to The State, former South Carolina Gamecocks football player Ulric Jones saw the video and plans to meet Gloria and her family the day of the game, show them around the stadium, and if possible, grab Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp for a meet-and-greet and photo op.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Gloria told The State. “This is my dream come true, and I’m still thinking it’s a fantasy. I still don’t believe it’s actually happening.”
It’s going to be an amazing weekend that no one will ever forget, and a childhood dream is finally coming true for an incredible woman and lifelong USC Gamecock fan.