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After his own cancer fight, former Bronco Mecklenburg surprises UCHealth patients

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DENVER (KDVR) — While the Broncos prepare for Sunday night’s big showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs, they are already winning big off the field. Three Broncos fans got a surprise of a lifetime on Friday, complete with Miles the Mascot, the Broncos Cheerleaders and fan-favorite Karl Mecklenburg.

Ronnie Martinez is a lifelong Broncos fan who has several rooms in his home decked out in Broncos gear.

“It’s amazing, such a wonderful surprise! I’m a fourth-generation Bronco fan, Colorado native, Denver native. Everyone’s a Bronco fan in the family,” Martinez said.

Jachin Rutt has also been a Broncos fan his entire life.

“All of a sudden this happens, and Karl Mecklenburg happens, which is amazing. I’ve been a huge fan my whole life. To see him, it’s just really neat. It’s ridiculous. I’ve been a fan my whole life. This is huge. I love getting to meet the people I see on TV,” Rutt said.

They have something in common with Mecklenburg. They’ve all been treated for cancer at UCHealth, which organized this tailgate surprise.

“I’ve had my own brushes with skin cancer and been treated through UCHealth hospital. They’ve been a lifesaver for me. It’s fun to acknowledge these folks for not only being Broncos fans, but also their fight with cancer. I know it’s a struggle and challenge for these folks, and it’s fun to bring some sunshine in their lives,” Mecklenburg said.

“I’m on the final recovery. This is my fourth battle of cancer. The finish line’s ahead. I can finally see the light at the end of this rough tunnel I’ve been climbing. It’s been really tough,” Martinez said.

“It’s a rare form of colon cancer. It came out of nowhere. We went from a 34-state tour RVing, to find out when we came back I had stage 4 colon cancer. That was last year, last August,” Rutt said.

“I’ve never won anything. I didn’t think they did this for adults. I thought the cancer thing was for little kids, so this is a huge blessing, just a huge surprise,” Rutt said.

His fiancée said, “Three things in life that make us happy: something to do, someone to love, something to look forward to. This has been our something to look forward to. We have each other to love. What we’re doing is battling cancer. This has been our something to look forward to,” Lauren Bell said.

Their doctors at UCHealth worked with the Denver Broncos to provide some fun gifts. These Broncos fans were able to put their battle aside, knowing their favorite team was also cheering them on.

“My motto is just never give up, keep strong. That’s all you have to do: keep strong, keep battling, day by day. This is a good day? This is an amazing day! It’s a great day,” Martinez said.

“Every day is a gift if you allow it to be, if you keep that mindset. You gotta stay positive. It’s a devastating diagnosis. If you live in it, I don’t think you’re going to make it very long. You have to stay positive, you have to find the fun,” Rutt said.

All of them are picking the Broncos to beat the Chiefs on Sunday night.

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