PASADENA, Texas – A Texas teacher sure is glad she answered the phone call, even though the caller ID came back as “unknown.”
Rhonda Jacobs, a teacher at Teague Elementary in Pasadena, Texas, couldn’t believe it when the person on the other end of the call ended up being none other than future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
Jacobs has been a fan of Manning’s since his days with the Tennessee Volunteers and has always wanted to meet him. However, she was diagnosed with cancer in July and didn’t know if she’d ever get the chance to talk to her football hero.
But on Halloween, she was on her way home when she received a mysterious phone call.
“I was driving home and ‘Unknown’ appeared on my phone,” Jacobs said. “I answered the phone and the person on the other line said, ‘This is Peyton Manning.’ I was speechless.”
At first, Jacobs thought someone was playing a joke on her. After the caller spoke a few sentences, she knew it really was Manning.
Jacobs should recognize the voice. After all, she listens to Manning’s press conferences while she’s getting her cancer treatments. She says his voice calms her down.
“After about two or three sentences, I knew that was his voice and I started freaking out. He did most of the talking and it was awesome,” Jacobs said.
How did Manning know about Jacobs’ plight? School nurse Nikki Seymour reached out to the PeyBack Foundation to share Jacobs’ story.
“I wrote the organization and explained that we are not kids, but you are not going to meet a bigger fan than her. Within 30 minutes, his agent, who works side-by side with Peyton, called me,” Seymour said. “Peyton wanted to do something special for Rhonda. It was amazing how quickly the organization responded to me.”
Jacobs said she and Manning talked for about five minutes.
“He said there will be dark days and I told him that I have already experienced some of those, but he said you just have to go through adversity and keep your faith strong,” she said.
It’s a moment she’ll never forget.
“It’s God, Jesus and then Peyton. That is the way it’s always been. This was the greatest moment of my life.”