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Young Chiefs fan with type 1 diabetes gets surprise of a lifetime

Lee’s Summit, MO — There are a couple things you need to know about 10-year-old Landon Beard.

“Oh, he loves the Chiefs,” said his mom, Nikki Beard.

When we met Landon at the Hy-Vee on Rice Road in Lee’s Summit, he was wearing his #10 Chiefs jersey.

“Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Patrick Mahomes,” Landon answered when asked about his favorite players.

Another big part of the elementary student’s life is the diagnosis he received two years ago: type 1 diabetes.

“We had to learn how to check blood sugar levels, how to give insulin, to give shots,” Nikki Beard said.

Landon took the diagnosis in stride, continuing to play competitive soccer, baseball and basketball. He’s also involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This year he raised $5,000 for the group’s annual walk.

When JDRF called the Beard family and invited them to a complimentary dinner at Hy-Vee Market Grill on Wednesday night, they graciously accepted.

They had no idea of the plans already in the works across the store.

Enter Brad Walters, Hy-Vee Store Director and resident Santa. Walters and his team wanted to do something special for the Beards.

“I can only imagine the difficulties that that presents to a family on a number of levels, whether it be expense, whether it would be just the stress of adding that burden to someone,” Walters said.

Once Landon, his brother and his parents sat down for dinner, Walters walked over to their table, introduced himself and described what was inside the gift basket he was carrying.

“Two tickets, airfare and a hotel stay,” he explained to the Beards.

Landon and one of his parents will get to see the Chiefs play either the Seahawks or the Raiders.

“Just like, what’s happening!” Landon said of the surprise.

“This is honestly a shock right now,” Nikki Beard said.

Now there’s just one thing the family still has to settle.

“Me and my husband will have to decide who gets to go,” Beard said.

Regardless of which parent accompanies him, Landon has high hopes for the trip.

“Probably the best game I’m gonna go to,” he said.

This is the fifth major Hy-Vee giveaway this year and the first time an away game has been gifted.