NFL star Troy Palomalu’s wife, Theodora Polamalu, spoke to over 450 people at the Jan. 25,2011 FOCUS Pittsburgh fundraising dinner. Theodora challenged those present to put their hope and desire to help those in need into action.
Theodora and Troy are committed to caring for those in need. Theodora, FOCUS North America Advisory Board Member, said during her address to the crowd, “to treat every person as an icon of Christ is the foremost principle of FOCUS, the heart of its mission.”
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Troy and Theodora met in college at the University of Southern California. Theodora’s brother and Troy’s Trojans teammate, Alex Holmes (who’s now a tight end for the St. Louis Rams), facilitated the couple’s first date. Theodora explains that her family has always been very protective of her and about who she dated. Holmes wouldn’t let anyone on the team go out with his sister, but he made an exception for Troy.
“So my brother called him with me on threeway, and Troy was like, ‘Yeah, I want to take you out. Want to go out?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’ and that was it,” she recalls.
When Troy was drafted by the Steelers in 2003, he first made the move to Pittsburgh without Theodora. But he was lonely without her, and she left California for Pittsburgh. Within a year of her move, the couple was engaged: While Theodora’s mother, Katina, was visiting, the three went out to eat at Mineo’s Pizza in Squirrel Hill. Troy proposed to Theodora there with a poem that he had penned and an engagement ring that he had customized. In January 2005, the two were married in the magistrate’s office of Squirrel Hill by Judge Nathan Firestone, a professor of Theodora’s, then a legal studies student, at the University of Pittsburgh.