WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News asked, and you, the viewers, delivered with nominations pouring into our Surprise Squad on the hunt for the biggest Patriots fan.
When it came to selecting the lucky recipient, it was easy after hearing Tina Dineen's story, who was nominated by several people, and the Surprise Squad is hoping to start the Big Game celebrations early by bringing some much-needed cheer to her and her family.
A circle of support surrounds Tina Dineen in a time she needs it most.
"Anytime I had a rough patch," Katie Bedard tells us. "I'd just shoot down here. I'm sorry they've always reached out and helped people whenever they needed it, and never asked for anything in return from anybody."
At only forty-eight, Tina was diagnosed with ALS, and, while her motor function is limited, her spirit remains strong, especially for the Patriots.
Nominations for her flooded our inbox.
One nomination read:
"Tina and her family have been die hard Patriots fans forever. The family is now tackling her ALS and have a long, hard road ahead of themselves before we lose her."
Another nomination read:
"She is a die hard Patriots fan and could really use something to cheer him up."
From hats to keep warm in this chilly weather and everything in between, Tina was surprised with a Patriots sweatshirt and hat to keep her warm, along with the only jersey she didn't have.
The Surprise Squad got her a Julian Edelman jersey to compliment the Tom Brady jersey she already had.
The surprises didn't stop there.
It's been a financial struggle for the Dineen family, so Tina was surprised with $200 gift cards to Big Y to help with the groceries.
Confined to a chair due to her disease, the Surprise Squad wanted to give her some comfort with the help of La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio in West Springfield.
"It's our best chair that we have from La-Z-Boy," West Springfield La-Z-Boy employee Ryan Pernice tells us. "it power reclines so the whole chair itself will be very helpful for her."
Tina is ready to cheer on her favorite team in the Big Game with her family, like her husband and high school sweetheart Kevin, by her side.
"She never gives up," stated Kevin. "Always smiling. I try to keep on her all the time. I have always been there for you. I want to say I love you and need you, and want to say a huge thank you."