Young patients make cards for Peyton Manning before Super Bowl 50

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 2, 2016) - The countdown to Superbowl is on. Former Indianapolis Colt Peyton Manning will of course be playing for the Denver Broncos on Sunday, and patients at his namesake hospital will be cheering him on here in Indianapolis.

“We’re definitely Colts fans but we were sorry to see Peyton go, but we wish him the best in Denver,” said Steven Parker Sr., who was at the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital with his son, Steven. They joined fellow former patients, as well as current ones to make cards for the beloved Broncos quarterback.

“Hopefully they can win the Super Bowl,” said Parker. “And, if it’s his last game, he can go out on top.”

Many of the patients said they’ve been personally helped by Peyton’s kindness. Madeline Helpling said she received a phone call during her time in the hospital two years ago.

“It was an unknown number, and I don’t normal answer them. But, for some reason I just decided to,” recalls Helpling.  “And he said, ‘Is this Madeline?' and I said, ‘Yes.’ and he said, ‘Hi, this is Peyton.’ And I said ‘Hi Peyton!’ And I just knew.”

Staff members said Peyton has stayed in contact despite the move to Denver.

“He is so deeply committed to this institution,” said Jonathan Nalli, CEO of the hospital. “He is a member of our senior leadership and it’s the least we can do to cheer him on.”

Whether he’s a Colt or Bronco, they all hope he keeps on winning for all of them.

“I always look forward to football season. Obviously I’m a Colts fan, but I still have Peyton in my heart and bleed number 18,” said Helpling.

The patients will have a Super Bowl party at the hospital on Sunday. They know Peyton might be a little busy that day, but they know their cards will get to him soon thereafter.