N.C. man who survived brain tumor gets Super Bowl trip to see Panthers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh man who has survived a brain tumor is heading to the Super Bowl to root on the Carolina Panthers.

The Fill Your Bucket List Foundation, a Cary-based non-profit organization that grants wishes to adults with cancer, is sending Grant Lafoon, 26, to Super Bowl 50 to watch the Panthers play the Denver Broncos.

It’s the first wish the foundation is granting in 2016.

Lafoon, a Panthers fan since the team began in 1995, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in early 2015. At that time, his mom, Melinda Pupp, quit her job to take care of her son. Lafoon’s disease is now stable and he is thrilled to take his mother to the Super Bowl.

“I picked my mom for my wish, because she dropped everything when I was diagnosed, to come and take care of me 24/7. She had a busy and full life, but stayed with me every step of my treatment,” Lafood said.  “Growing up, my mom and I watched a lot of football together, whether it was live or on TV every Sunday.

“It might sound like it’s just football, but to me, it was really special time spent with my mom.  Being able to go to the Super Bowl with my mom and see the Panthers play is really an unbelievable opportunity. I know we are going to make memories that last a lifetime.”

Peggy Gibson Carroll, founder of the Fill Your Bucket List Foundation, said, “We started the Fill Your Bucket List Foundation to make dreams come true, and this is one of the most exciting wishes we have been able to grant so far.”

Carroll said they weren’t sure how they would fulfill the wish but put out a call on social media and raised enough money for the Lafoon and his mother to go.

“We are so touched by the continual support and requests shared, that ultimately resulted in a generous angel with a Christian heart stepping forward to donate two Super Bowl tickets for Grant’s wish,” Carroll said.

In order to further fund the wish for Lafoon and his mom, Fill Your Bucket List Foundation was able to get two additional tickets donated by the NFL, to Super Bowl 50 that they will be auctioning off over the next week.

The Foundation has granted 10 wishes since its inception a little over a year ago and plans are underway to grant at least 16 wishes in 2016.

Lafood said, “This is not even close to thanking her for what she’s done, but it’s the fact of I get to go to the Super Bowl with my momma ..”

He paused, laughed and said, “Pretty happy about that.”

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