Alyssa Silva has inspired many people with her passion for life despite having a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Included in that ever-growing group of Silva’s admirers is none other than the AFC Champion New England Patriots. This Super Bowl Sunday, E:60 (9 a.m. ET, ESPN2) and NFL Countdown (12:15 p.m. ET, ESPN) will share her story.
“I first heard that E:60 wanted to do a story on me back in March,” Silva said. “I happened to be having breakfast with a friend who works for the Patriots when [producer] Max [Brodsky] called him to say he was interested in doing a story on me. It was perfect timing.”
Silva said she felt honored when she first heard the news and she feels the same emotions today.
“When I embarked on this journey of writing and fundraising, my goals and intentions were (and still are) to raise funds, awareness and hope for SMA. So, I am beyond fortunate to be in a position where I have a platform like ESPN to share my story.”
In addition to being able to educate people about SMA, Silva hopes people will look at her favorite football team, the New England Patriots in a different light too.
“I’ve been a huge fan of this team my entire life, but over the years I’ve become so fortunate in getting to know them and what takes place off the field, that I’m now an even bigger fan,” she said.
“I hope that through the class and character exemplified by the Patriots in this feature, people learn just how far kindness can truly go and how the kindness from one NFL team has impacted my life in the most remarkable way.”