A former NFL star gave one New Orleans Saints fan the surprise of her life during a school celebration Wednesday.
Cynthia Ellington had no idea why she was called to the stage during the celebration at Gautier Middle School. But soon after, she burst into tears as former New Orleans Saints player Deuce "The Deuce" McAllister presented her with a prized souvenir: an autographed football.
"I just love Deuce. I'm his biggest fan. I love him. He's just a great guy," said Ellington.
Meeting the former Saints running back was a dream come true for Ellington, known as the "Who Dat Girl". Ellington, who has been a cafeteria cook at two schools in Pascagoula for more than 23 years, learned she had stage four uterine cancer in November 2015.
"It's been rough whenever I have my chemo. But after that, God is good," said Ellington.
McAllister helped craft the game plan to honor her.
"It's a lot of emotions and I told her she can let the emotion out and be excited and be happy, and just for me to be able to give a small token," said McAllister.
The words of encouragement meant a lot to Ellington.
"I'm hanging in there. I'm fighting," said Ellington.
The fight against cancer is a battle she is determined to win, knowing so many people are all on her team.
"I love the kids and I'm hoping I get back to work soon, because I love it so much," said Ellington.
The football is sits in a trophy case in a "Saints Room" in Ellington's home. Another homage to her favorite player, Ellington's 4-year-old grandson is named "Deuce".