MOORHEAD-- Scott Verkuilen has seen more than most in his 19-years of life.
“We’re just grateful to be here and alive,” said Verkuilen.
Two years ago, the Moorhead native was in remission after battling lymphoma. Even during his cancer journey, Scott put others first. Through the Make-A-Wish foundation, Scott’s wish was granted. He wished for the weight room at Moorhead High School to be renovated, a gift that all students could enjoy.
“It’s usually so packed in here, especially right after school and into sports practice, it gets crazy up here. It’s just jumping, it's the way I want it, it’s the way it should be,” said Verkuilen.
“I think it just proves a point to all of us that we need to always, always, reach a hand back and pull people forward. It’s the only way that anybody gets anything done, or the best way to get things done is to reach back, pull forward, and lift people up. This is why you do good things for people, because it comes back, it just does,” said Scott’s mother, Terri Trickle.
Early last week, the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted Scott’s family again. They were offering them eight tickets to the Vikings game against the Lions.
“It’s heartwarming and it feels very nice, and I am extremely grateful. I was more than happy with what I got and I have been given more,” said Verkuilen.
Scott, his family, and a few friends enjoyed 11th row tickets at U.S. Bank Stadium. Scott was then honored at halftime through his Make-A-Wish journey, even being honored during halftime, but the surprises didn’t stop there. More than a dozen of Scott’s friends surprised him on the field, along with former strength Coach Cory Hermann, to present a pair of tickets to this year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
“By the time I realized what was happening there were five young men on top of me, and I turned around to see faces that I didn’t bring with me. Then Coach Hermann yelled out ‘you’re going to the Super Bowl’. Then I saw these tickets in their hands, then it hits. So just the shock factor of them being there, it was all fresh. I had no idea that they were going to be there. They all kept their noses out and did a really good job,” said Verkuilen.
“It all kind of happened at the same time, so it was just crazy, I don’t know. Then the stadium erupted. So you can’t hear anything, you can’t even process your own thoughts. So it was just insanity,” Verkuilen added.
“It was all very emotional and that’s really hard because I was just crying a lot. So I just kind of stood off to the side. So it was amazing because these kids were all pounded over him and jumping up and down, jumping up and down and yelling. Then Scott saw me and then he ran over and there’s a video of it and he was like‘ I can’t believe this is happening,” said Trickle.
“It sucks that I can’t share it with everyone,” said Verkuilen.
Whether it’s a battle for his life, or the coolest moment of his life, Scott is still putting others first.
“It feels almost selfish that I can’t give my two tickets to somebody else. But I’m just going to take it and go and enjoy it the way they want me to and that’s going to be the way it has to be,” said Verkuilen.
“We joked about who he’s going to take, but it just doesn’t matter. It’s one of these things where no one will feel bad, no one would ever expect, and anyone who goes will just have a great time,” said Trickle.
“It’s just going to be one heck of an experience,” said Verkuilen.
Scott says he has never been to the west coast, and is still deciding who to bring with as his plus one to the Super Bowl. Super Bowl LVI is set for February 13, at SoFi Stadium.