Super Bowl dream come true for SW florida teen who battles illness

CREATED Jan 31, 2014

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ESTERO, Fla.- It is a super-sized dream come true for a Southwest Florida teen battling a life threatening illness.

For the past year and a half, 15-year-old Dillon Simmons from Estero has been fighting a battle against brain cancer. Because of his bravery, the Make a Wish Foundation is giving Dillon the trip of a lifetime, to the Super Bowl.


The teen has toured NFL headquarters, met players and Commissioner, Roger Goodell.


“They get VIP tickets. So, Dillon will be in a box with some of the other kids to watch the Super Bowl. It sounds really really exciting.” Mom, Denise Simmons said.


It is a dream come true for the teen who has fought so hard against the disease no one deserves.


“ He went from playing the best game of his life to waking up and his whole life was completely changed.” Simmons said.


A hockey injury back in 2012 led doctors to the discovery of a large tumor in Dillon’s brain. Several rounds of radiation, chemotherapy and holistic treatments later, Dillon is finally on the mend.


“You look at life differently you appreciate life so much more than I did before and I feel blessed each and every day.” Simmons said.


Because of his hard work and the family’s trying times, the Make a Wish Foundation has given them something to smile about.


“It's good to know that through the people in the community, in the area coming together and helping us raise those funds to be able to send kids like Dillon to the Super Bowl.” Lesley Colantonio with the Make a Wish Foundation said.


Denise Simmons said it is an experience her son will always remember.


“Dillon's got an agenda. He's got a life to live and he wants it back. He's looked this cancer straight in the face and said you can't have me.” Simmons said.


The money for the Make a Wish Trip to the Super Bowl was raised by a sorority at Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information on how you can help head to and click on the Big Red 4.