A few weeks ago, Peyton Linafelter, 16, received a special phone call from her namesake, Peyton Manning.
Manning called her to wish her luck in beating a cancer rarely found in girls her age.
“He was just saying his entire family is praying for me. He is praying for me. And he thought it was really cool that I was named after him,” Linafelter said, who also showed off her Peyton Manning signed jersey and helmet sent over from the Broncos.
Linafelter went to the hospital about 6 months ago. She was given a frightening diagnosis on her 16th birthday.
“It really caught my attention because that would probably be the youngest patient, or certainly one of the youngest patients in the United States that’s ever been diagnosed with ovarian cancer,” Peyton’s doctor said, Saketh Guntupalli, MD, gynecologic oncologist at the University of Colorado Hospital.
Guntupalli says there are about 25,000 cases of ovarian cancer each year and that it’s the most lethal gynecological malignancy in women. He says Linafelter showed incredible strength and that she’s nearly cancer-free.
“Peyton’s been—it’s been a miracle. And it’s really all her. She’s approached this with a strength and a grace that I don’t see in women that are three times her age. Four times her age. And she’s really been an inspiration to all of us,” he said.
The phone call between the Peytons was made possible by a partnership between the Broncos and UCHealth.
Dr. Guntupalli says it’s important for women to look out for some of the symptoms Linafelter had.
“Non-specific abdominal pain. Nausea, feeling bloated, feeling like you’re full after eating a meal, that’s not normal for you,” he said, insisting that talking to your doctor can help diagnose and attack the cancer.