WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Ten-year-old Hunter Paulin never dreamed he'd be going to the Super Bowl, let alone carrying out the game ball -- and maybe shooting a commercial with his hero: RGIII.
The Maryland 4th grader has been through a lot. But Bruce Leshan reports that Hunter says he won't let it slow him down.
Hunter Paulin was sporting a big old black eye when we came by to visit -- even though his doctor forbids him to engage in contact sports with his friends.
Hunter was born with six congenital heart defects."It's my mechanical mitral valve," he said, showing it off but cautioning that "it stinks."
He's had eleven surgeries, four of them open heart.
"Robert Griffin the Third inspires me because he plays football and he's a good runner,"Hunter said.
Last year, while waiting for a Redskins game to start, Hunter entered the NFL and Quaker Oats Play60 competition.
And a few weeks later, they sent back an email saying he'd won.
" It was in our junk mail, on our email," Hunter said. "We had to turn it in by Thursday"
It wasn't spam. Hunter and his family really won a trip to the Super Bowl to see the Ravens take on the 49ers. He'll carry out the game ball, maybe shoot one of those Play60 commercials.
"It's going to be awesome," Hunter said.
Hunter refuses to let heart defects, or anything else slow him down. He's rooting for the Ravens now.
"I think they're going to win the Super Bowl," he said, but he still wishes it was his beloved Redskins - "He [RGIII] was taller than I expected."- and RGIII, who were playing.
"He said, wanna throw the ball with me. I said sure," Hunter said.
Maybe next year.
Hunter's the perfect Play60 kid. Not only does he exercise at least 60 minutes a day, he eats so many salads, his schoolmates call him "salad freak!"
And he's not embarrassed -- he's proud of the nickname.
We have a link to his Facebook page and the charities that have helped him.