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Pay it forward campaign sends lifelong Packer fan to Lambeau Field

feature Fargo,ND 58103
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Pay it forward campaign sends lifelong Packer fan to Lambeau Field
Fargo ND 301 8th St. S. 58103

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When the Packers take on Kansas City later Thursday, one dedicated Green Bay fan from Moorhead will be in the stands, thanks to an awesome "pay it forward" campaign from people he never knew.

15-year old Payton Wilde has a lot of medical challenges in his life.  He will be starting his sophomore year at Fargo North on Wednesday.

But after a surprise visit today, Payton might have a little trouble focusing on homework.

“They won two of their three games so far.”

One look inside the bedroom of Payton Wilde, it is not hard to figure out what NFL team he cheers for every weekend.

“I went to a Viking-Packer game in Minnesota.”

From bedding, to wallpaper, posters to pennants, Payton is everything Packers.

“And since Payton was born, I have said, you will be a Packer fan. And he went way overboard.”

“These are a few other gifts.”

And so today, a surprise visit to Payton's house. Bob Footit Jr. heard about the many medical and health challenges facing Payton. A recent spine surgery that was needed because of Payton's neuro fibramatosis disease that sparks masses of fibroids in his body.

Bob heard Payton was a big Packer fan who has never been to Lambeau. That is about to change.

Tickets, box seats at Thursday's Packer-Chiefs game in Green Bay.

And a Packer's care package to top all others. Signed football, signed picture, dollars, and lots of them to buy everyone at Lambeau their own Wisconsin polish.

For Footit, the pay it forward was just that. Once his friends heard about his plan, everyone wanted to play.

“It is this Midwest mentality, everyone wants to help,” says Donor, Bob Footitt.

“It looks amazing, my dining room table, i love it. It is cluttered, but it is overwhelming, I love the look of it,” says Payton’s Mom Nancy Cline.

And not just tickets for Payton and his family. But a total of 8. It will be a memorable game at a historic field.

All because the story of one boy touched the lives of others who wanted to make a difference for one beautiful night in Green Bay.

Going to a Packers game is a huge deal, having all this is with it is overwhelming, it means everything, crazy,” says Nancy.

The family leaves after Payton's first day of school on Wednesday. They will tailgate with Packer Fans before heading out to the game Thursday night.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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