Drew Brees made an unexpected appearance on "The Ellen Show" to give one special fan a life-changing surprise this week. Need some inspiration?

Brian McKenna got the eye of Ellen Degeneres and many other outlets after his friendship with Jackson Smith came to light. They were friends at Tulane, and when Smith was away serving our country in Afghanistan McKenna made sure to bring a cutout of him to the 2010 Super Bowl run and ensuing Mardi Gras. Brees took a picture with the cutout to brighten Smith's tour overseas, but the story goes on.

Recently, McKenna was involved in an accident that left him paralyzed. Smith wouldn't let a favor go unrepaid, so he made sure to lift up his friend in a dark time...and Brees was involved again.

Smith got Brees to take a picture with a cutout he made of McKenna, and the two probably thought the story would end there. Kudos to Ellen Degeneres and her staff for making sure there was a happy twist for everyone involved.

Degeneres brought McKenna and Smith back on her show for a checkup on McKenna's progress, then pulled the curtain back for Brees to make a video appearance. His two biggest fans were glad to see him, but in classic Brees fashion, he went above and beyond. Speaking to McKenna on a hospital bed, Brees promised to pay for an experimental wheel chair that he was currently using. Gestures like that prove why Brees is so beloved in New Orleans...and why athletes who take the time to make a difference are a powerful part of sports.

To put a final tear-jerking conclusion to their tale, McKenna had a surprise of his own for Brees. In a gesture he hoped would inspire Brees, McKenna went off his ventilator and breathed on his own on camera. His health is improving by the day, which is a blessing by itself.

If you're searching for some midweek inspiration, look no further. Thank you, sports. Thank you, Drew Brees, and thank you, Brian McKenna, for giving us some perspective and hope.