Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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How Former Eagle Jason Kelce fulfills a Delaware County woman's dying wish

Mary Lou Carey was a Philadelphia sports fanatic and her favorite was former Eagles center Jason Kelce.

"She would have the game off, have the game on. She'd be nervous," said Jill Carey, Mary's daughter. "Yelling at the refs. She called Jason mer young boyfriend," Carey said.

Mary died on April 6. She battled an illness for months, and in recent weeks, the family had some difficult discussions about her wishes.

"She started asking about what she was going to wear for the funeral," Carey said. "As a joke, my sister said, 'What about your Jason Kelce jersey, mom?' And at this point she was kind of sleeping a lot, not saying much, and she got the biggest smile on her face, her eyes popped wide open, and she said, 'Yes, I love him!'"

The family wanted to do something extra special for their dying mother. Could they get Jason to sign that jersey?

They went to a Haverford Facebook page for help.

Before long, comments started pouring. Two other pro athletes even got involved, and before they knew it, their mom's jersey went on a journey to Kelce's house. As Mary lay in bed, Carey told her mom what was happening. "She smiled and she said, 'Really?' I said, 'Yeah Mom.' And she said, 'For me?' And I said, 'Yeah.' She just smiled," Carey said.

The sugned jersey got there just in time for the funeral on Monday. It helped bring the family a little joy on a dark day.

They learned about the kindness of strangers and the heart of a Philly sports legend.

"He's all about the fans and the community. He goes the extra mile, and that's why everyone loves him," Carey said.

Jason Kelce Announces Retirement from the NFL

Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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