A Minnesota boy's blue and orange wish comes true

Credit: Paul Boehlke/KTVB

A Minnesota boy's blue and orange wish comes true

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 9:38 AM

BOISE -- It was a blue-carpet welcome Thursday at the Boise Airport as a young man's wish came true.

A crowd of cheerleaders, media, and onlookers gathered at the arrival gate. After a 45-minute delay of his flight, the man of the hour, and really, the entire weekend, arrived.

"I saw through the doors, and I'm like, OMG!" said Shane Swanson.

As the 12-year-old from Bloomington, Minnesota came through the doors, cheerleaders and total strangers cheered and applauded.

Swanson has battled spinal bifida his entire life. "He's had over 30 surgeries, 40 hospital stays. He has a currently broken leg right now," said Shane's mother Wendy.

But this weekend, all Shane is thinking about is his favorite team - Boise State. "Oh my gosh, I'm excited for basically everything!"

'Everything' is a VIP weekend. For the third-straight year, Make-A-Wish Idaho has partnered with Boise State University to bring a young Bronco fan from out-of-state to the blue.

"He'll have a lot of intimate time with players and coaches. He'll get to eat lunch with the team. A lot of surprises to come," said Brenda Vogt, director of program services with Make-A-Wish Idaho. "Saturday, game day, he'll have a personal tailgate just for him, and VIP seats."

Shane has been a Bronco fan for about seven years. But, that raises the question, how does a five-year-old in Minnesota become a massive Bronco fan, with blue and orange covering his room?

It started with Lorin Jenkins who lives here in Boise. "We have never met, just talked to each other on the phone several times."

Back in 2006, he was on a work call with Shane's mom when he happened to mention the Broncos who were playing on TV. Wendy and Lorin struck up a friendship and Shane became enthralled with BSU.

"After watching the game, Wendy contacted me and told me that Shane absolutely loved the blue field and BSU was now his favorite team," Jenkins said.

This weekend, after all those years, and from thousands of miles away, Shane is here, with his wish coming true.

"Overall, I'm kind of feeling awesome," said Shane. "Go Broncos!"

Shane is also an accomplished swimmer. He's set numerous records at the National Junior Disabilities Championships.

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