Local student battling sickle cell disease surprised with Super Bowl tickets

There was a 'super' surprise Thursday morning at Crayton Middle School, when a student was gifted tickets to this weekend's face off between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49'ers.

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — There was a ‘super’ surprise Thursday morning at Crayton Middle School, when a student was gifted tickets to this weekend’s face off between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49’ers.

Braden Green, 13, thought it was an ordinary day at school. Until he saw a video from a few players from his favorite team, the Carolina Panthers. They thanked him for being a fan, and told him to enjoy his trip to the Super Bowl.

“I’m just feeling excitement, and a little confusement,” said Braden. “It’s going to be my first, real NFL game. And it’s going to be the Super Bowl.”

Braden battles sickle cell disease, and had a life-saving blood transfusion a few years back. Now, he works to inspire others to donate blood and save lives.

“We want to spread awareness about sickle cell disease,” said Braden. “One blood donation can save up to three lives, and can just make a miracle for a family.”

“I’m proud of him because it’s really unselfish. And even though he’s 13, for a few years now we’ve been having to educate him on his illness and how it impacts. But at the same time, let him know how inspiring he is, and how his story can inspire other people to help,” said his mother, Brenda Green.

Thanks to the NFL, the American Red Cross and Jim Hudson Automotive Group; Braden and his family will watch the Super Bowl in Miami.

“This was so unexpected. All we want to do is help others. Use our story and our voice to help those who may feel like they don’t have a voice,” said Brenda.

“It was just a joy to see his excitement and to see the enthusiasm. And even those here, his classmates. How excited they were for him,” said Keith Hudson, President of Jim Hudson Automotive Group.

“It felt amazing, and it felt like a once in a lifetime thing was happening. And it just felt amazing,” said Braden.

Braden may be a Panthers fan, but who does he want to win on Sunday?

“I’m going for the Chiefs,” he said.

Braden and his family run a nonprofit that advocates for those with sickle cell disease. They hope to raise awareness, and encourage people to donate blood. For more information on the B Strong Group, click here.

Categories: Local News, News, Richland