PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a dream come true for a Pennsylvania boy. The interaction between Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and the 11-year-old has gone viral. The magical meeting didn’t just bring the boy to tears — he also unknowingly inspired his hero.
“My football that I got signed — everyone,” Giovanni Hamilton said.
Hamilton holds his signed football very closely. As a matter of fact, he guards it with his life.
“I keep it in a safe place where my cats can’t get it,” he said. “Look at all the signatures.”
Several Eagles players sign Hamilton’s football during his visit to training camp last week.
“I was super energetic,” Hamilton said. “I kept straying from the group just to go see stuff.”
It’s special memorabilia, but nothing was more special than this tender moment between the vivacious little boy and his hero — Wentz.
— Lesley Van Arsdall (@LesleyCBS3) July 26, 2019
“It was awesome and what I wanted to tell him before I started crying was that he’s my hero,” Hamilton said, “and that I just had jaw surgery and that I stayed strong through it just like he stayed strong through his back and his knee.”
“When Giovanni reached out for that hug, I wasn’t quite sure if Carson would bend down and meet him, but he did it without hesitation. He’s such a great person. For Giovanni, that moment was everything,” Shannon Algarin, Giovanni’s mom, said.
Hamilton suffers from an extremely rare condition. Football has become an outlet, a much-needed distraction from a world of pain and multiple surgeries.
“His condition, I liken it to having a form of muscular dystrophy but also having dwarfism. His life is pain,” Algarin said. “Even over the weekend he was having real bad hamstring problems. But he just does it all with a smile on his face. He doesn’t know any different.”
Bianca’s Kids made Hamilton’s wish come true. It’s what the South Jersey organization does as it grants wishes for special needs kids around the country.
“We knew it would be an extraordinary moment,” Debbie Savigliano said. “We didn’t expect it to go viral. It’s millions and millions views later but even sitting there and seeing it live, there wasn’t a dry eye.”
The Eagles superfan proudly sports his green hair, his replica Super Bowl ring and his Eagles paraphernalia along with an infectious smile, awe-inspiring resilience and mutual admiration from his very own hero.
“When you get to see kids like Giovanni and other kids like that, just honestly inspire me. Inspire me and remind me that it’s so much more than just a football game,” Wentz said.
Hamilton sees a grand finish to the 2019 Birds season before it even begins.
“I feel awesome. We’re going to win the Super Bowl,” he said.
Hamilton says he would tell Wentz and the Eagles to “just stay strong and play hard.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton says he thinks the Eagles need to hire him. He really wants to be a head coach one day.