Jacksonville, FL (September 25, 2014) – He may enjoy the view from the sidelines this weekend, but 18-year-old Austin Whitten isn’t letting paralysis keep him on the sidelines of life. The Lafayette, GA, teen will have an opportunity to meet Tim Tebow, whom he admires for his bold and unashamed stand for Christ, this weekend at SEC Nation through the Tim Tebow Foundation W15H program.
Austin and his family will travel to Atlanta for private one-on-one time with Tim before joining him as a VIP on the set of SEC Nation before the University of Tennessee takes on the University of Georgia in Athens on Saturday.
Growing up, Austin had always been involved in sports but on June 9, 2012, his life changed dramatically. Austin was at friend’s home celebrating the start of summer when a belly flop into the swimming pool went horribly wrong. The pressure caused by hitting the water shattered the C6 vertebrae in his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Since his accident, Austin has gone through extensive physical therapy to recover the use of his arms and continues to pursue treatments in hopes of one day walking again.
Through this journey, Austin has maintained a very positive outlook on life through his strong faith. Austin has said, “People see me in this chair and feel sorry for me. But I don’t see it as a chair, I see it as a platform for God, for what He’s brought me through, for what He’s going to take me to.”
The Tim Tebow Foundation W15H program fulfills the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses who dream of meeting Tim Tebow. Each W15H child receives a custom experience and in addition, a unique W15H gift package containing exclusive W15H luggage, official W15H t-shirts, a Nike duffle bag, a copy of Tim’s book Through My Eyes, Florida Gators: 2008 National Championship book, a personalized Bible and more.