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Teen With Down Syndrome Can’t Believe It When Sister Travels Cross Country to Surprise Him at Senior Night Football Game

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A teen who has Down syndrome who dreamed of his older sister attending his senior night football game was given a beautiful surprise when she suddenly turned up.


Tanner Bejarno, 18, plays on the Mingus Union High School team in Cottonwood, Arizona, but due to his sister Maddie’s softball commitments at Bingham Young University, they often spend months apart.

Maddie, 22, was unsure if she would be able to attend Tanner’s senior night, but knowing how much the game meant to her brother, she did everything in her power to make things work.

When she was presented with a small window, Maddie booked a flight without anyone knowing – not even her dad – and arrived at Tanner’s big night with 10 minutes to spare.

There she hid behind a group of people before sneaking up on her brother, who beamed with joy when he saw his sister and headed in for a loving hug.

The 22-year-old later shared the video on TikTok, where users send her and Tanner loving messages about their bond and the surprise.

T&T Creative Media
T&T Creative Media

RELATED: Woman With Down Syndrome Surprised With Scholarship to Attend College After Support Funding Cut

Tanner has always been Maddie’s inspiration, his sister said, and every softball game she plays at BYU she thinks of him and mentions Tanner in every interview.

She said: “I couldn’t have got a better reaction out of him – when he finally realized it was me, he had the biggest smile on his face and hugged me so tight.

T&T Creative Media

RELATED: Footballer’s Single Mom Flies From Australia to Surprise Him at His First Game in the US


“As soon as he hugged me, it brought tears to my eyes, I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished.

“Tanner is a huge inspiration to me, he doesn’t let anything stand in his way and always finds the light no matter the situation.”

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