Audrey Soape is an 11-year-old who has already endured more pain than most adults. The middle schooler from Texas lost her father suddenly and then her grandfather to lung cancer in 2021, so with the daddy-daughter dance coming up at her church, Audrey’s mom decided to organize something really special.
Despite living in Austin, Audrey is a huge fan of Virginia native and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Anthony Harris.
Audrey’s mom Holly, who is also a big fan, reached out to him on social media asking if he would take her daughter to the dance.
“It’s kind of far-fetched…it’s a big ask,” Holly told ABC News. “I just asked if he would come—if he’d be willing to come. And he said, ‘not only will I come, I want to make sure she feels like a princess.’”
Not only did Anthony fly across the country to surprise Audrey, he also covered the cost of her dress, shoes, hair, and makeup.
“He had a car with a driver come to the house and pick her up,” Holly told ABC News. “He really wanted to make sure she had the best possible time.”
It was clear from pictures posted on social media just how surprised Audrey was to meet her favorite player.
“I was super nervous but I was also super excited,” Soape told KYW in Philadelphia. “And I was like preparing myself all week because it was going to be fun, but I was super nervous. I didn’t know what to say.”
Thankfully the 30-year-old former Minnesota Vikings player knew exactly what to do.
“Every time I think he could see she was getting nervous, he would just engage in conversion with her,” Holly, the former Minnesota native, told KYW. “He kept her laughing, he kept her dancing on the dance floor.”
Anthony said the family had followed him on social media offering words of encouragement and prayers throughout his career and he just wanted to take time to notice and give back.
He also learned a lot from spending time with an 11-year-old who has lost so much in such a short space of time.
“You gotta cherish these moments. You never know how long we have here on this Earth,” Anthony said. “So, the people that you care about, and you love, show support for them.”