Lehigh Valley

Heartwarming video lands local family on Ellen Show

Video went viral, capturing the hearts of millions

Heartwarming story lands local family...

WHITEHALL, Pa - The Watson family from Whitehall is headed to Kansas City next month to cheer on their favorite NFL team, the Chiefs.

They'll be decked out in matching jerseys with their matching last names on the backs, but they didn't all start out as Watsons.

A few weeks ago Marcus Watson and his 4-year-old daughter, Madison, legally changed their last names to match his stepfather's, Paul Watson.

Marcus Watson serves in the U.S. Air Force and had his military dog tags changed to reflect his new last name. Then, he sat his stepfather down and Madison handed him the dog tags, explaining they now share a last name.

"It really should have happened a long time ago," said Marcus Watson.

Paul has been in Marcus' life since he was two-years-old.  Marcus says he was always his dad, but it was time to make it official.

"I knew that this would catch him off guard," said Marcus Watson.

A family member recorded the moment where Paul learned Marcus and Madison had changed their last names on a cell phone.

The video went viral, capturing the hearts of millions, including Ellen DeGeneres, who decided to share the Watson's story on her show.  She flew the family out to Los Angeles a few weeks later.

"It was amazing," said Paul Watson.

"Absolutely unreal, you know we're just some normal people from the Valley," said Marcus Watson.

But it didn't end there. In true Ellen fashion, she had a little gift for her new friends. While on her show, Ellen played a vieo of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith saying hello to the Watsons and inviting them to come out to a game. Ellen then gave the Watsons tickets to a Chiefs game plus three customized jerseys, proudly displaying the family name.

"This will be a memory forever," said Paul Watson.

A forever memory that started as a simple dream, that Paul's stepson would one day take his last name.

"Thinking about it, but never talking about it, after he reached a certain age I said well he's old now, he's a man now, I thought to myself, it never happened," said Paul Watson.

But it did happen, in a way Paul could have never imagined.

And now, thanks to Ellen DeGeneres, the Watson clan can proudly sport their new jerseys at the Kansas City/Oakland game in December, all wearing different numbers but with the same name on the back.


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