Vote for TigerNet's Goodyear Blimp Contest Winner

by - Assoc. Editor -

Thanks to all who entered our Blimpworthy Contest! We had an overwhelming number of outstanding entries and it was very difficult to narrow it down to 5. Thank you for voting and congrats to the winner!

All I ever wanted to do is fly. I had a congressional nomination to the Air Force Academy, but accepted an Army ROTC scholarship to Clemson. I grew up with Clemson in my blood and that was my calling. I graduated in 1989 and went into the Army as a 2nd LT right after graduation.

I was working on a branch transfer into aviation in the Army after scoring perfect on the flight aptitude test. I was just a few months away from going to flight school when I had a heat stroke and came close to death while in Saudi Arabia while serving in Operation Desert Storm. Needless to say my dreams of being a pilot ended that day. I have never lost the thrill of flying and I am glad I still get to do it some as part of my current work.

It would be such an honor for me to circle Death Valley and view the school I love with all my heart from the blimp. Therefore, I am indeed blimp worthy. I represent the best of Clemson's military tradition, and soaring over the school that has given me and so many others so much, would not only be an honor for me, but would honor all that came before me and still represent the university today.

I am submitting this on behalf of my 15 year old son, Justin. He is a huge Clemson fan and always roots for his Tigers! Makes a Daddy proud! Apart from being a Clemson fan, he is also a Leukemia patient. While most people become depressed and down when they find out they have cancer, all he wanted to know was, "What are we going to do to fix it!" He has been strong and extremely brave facing all of this. Having Leukemia has actually made him into a more caring and thought young man and I continue to be surprised at how he handles himself.

He was diagnosed in December of 2010 and is in remission to date. He still has almost a year of chemotherapy treatments to go but already has his sights set on what the next chapter of life has in store. I might be partial to him, since he is my son, but if that's not blimpworthy, I don't know what is!

I am writing you on behalf of my wife and why I feel she is "blimpworthy."

My wife (Kelly) and I met at Clemson University in 1996. Both of us graduated Clemson and we later married in 2003. We are avid Clemson football fans and regularly attend games with our two young children.

Last summer my wife was diagnosed with a very rare bone cancer at the base of her spine. The treatment involved a very complex 10 hour surgery on July 30, 2012. Following the surgery Kelly was recovering and going through physical therapy for over three months. Unfortunately, that meant she did not get to attend any games in 2012. Kelly insisted that I still take the kids to a few games last year. It was very difficult when she had to see the kids and I go to the games without her. We of course kept her updated with pictures and videos along the way....but it was not the same.

Thankfully, all of our prayers have been answered and Kelly is cancer free and back to living a normal life. She is very excited to be heading back to Clemson this year and the Georgia game will be her first time returning since her surgery.

I have not told her that I am submitting this story as it would be a great surprise for her to get to ride in the Goodyear Blimp. Thank you for considering Kelly for this contest.

This is to qualify my son for a ride in the Goodyear blimp! My son James is 23 years old and is currently on the national waiting list for a kidney. In 1992, when he was only 3 years old, he had a heart and double lung transplant. He is a dedicated Clemson fan. James is currently on dialysis. In fact, we had to get special permission from his dialysis doctor to skip his mid-day therapy just he can come to the games. The boy DOES NOT like to miss his Tigers!

We were not able to go on vacation this year because of his health and I know he would get a huge kick out of getting to fly in the blimp. I really hope he is chosen for this cool opportunity! Thanks and hope you have a great day.

I feel that I should ride the blimp because I have been a devoted Clemson fan since 1976. I attended Clemson, my husband attended Clemson and my two children attended. I went to every home game and usually one home game until 2011 when I was diagnosed with rectum and liver cancer. That season I lost 35 pounds and spent the season watching the games on tv or listening to them on the radio. I was in the hospital during the acc championship game from having the cancer removed from my rectum, but still manage to have several people up in my room to watch the game.

Last year I felt a little better, but still was not able to go to a game because I did not have the strength. This year I feel better and hope to make it to a few of the games. I will not be able to attend the Georgia game because I am currently sitting in chemo and my immune system will be extremely low which does not allow me to be around the crowd. I definitely will be sitting in front of the tv this weekend, but I would love to be a part of the celebration.

T I G E R   P O L L   R E S U L T S : 2013-08-28

Who is the most Blimpworthy?

Entry 1 11% (129)
Entry 2 31% (356)
Entry 3 15% (170)
Entry 4 12% (136)
Entry 5 31% (355)

Total Votes: 1146
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