BUCKEYE, Ariz. - Tim Tebow is one of the most polarizing figures in sports, but hardly because of self-promotion. Tebow's newfound baseball career is partially the reason a Phoenix-area man is inspired to turn his life around.
Most people remember the video of Tebow comforting a fan who had a seizure after his first game in the Arizona Fall League. All the attention was on Tebow that day, with some people hailing his actions as a miracle. For Brandon Berry of Buckeye, it was the beginning of something special.
"He checks on me, I check on him," Berry said from his living room almost nine months after the incident went viral. That night, Tebow called Berry on his cellphone. "We just talked about sports and fishing,"
Normal conversation, which led to a special friendship, Tebow helps foster by texting Berry monthly.
"It let me know what kind of person I am and how I need to help others just like he helped me that day," Berry said.
Armed with new perspective on life, Berry has gained control of his epilepsy. A brain scan is giving doctor's a better understanding of how to keep his seizures under control. Feeling the need to give back inspired Berry to write a book aimed at helping others with the condition as well.
This would be impressive on it's own, but far from the end of the story. Berry is set to start college next month, crediting Tebow for the inspiration to enroll. The first person he texted after getting accepted, you guessed it.
"He congratulated me on that and wished me the best of luck," Berry said.
Saturday, July 22 is Tim Tebow Service Day and Berry is organizing a water drive for the Phoenix area. Inspired by the Tim Tebow Foundation, Berry is asking people to donate bottled water to local food banks.
Many stories come with their five minutes of fame, and this was no different. But for Brandon Berry, the effects of his encounter with Tim Tebow are lasting a lifetime.