Today was one of the most beautiful fulfilling moments that I’ve ever experienced in my life/career working in sports. The very reason why I love this game so much. Just the ability to make a life changing impact on another’s existence, speaks volumes to the power of sports. The Sixers community will be forever changed for the better, after having the pleasure of sharing a very intimate and special moment with an incredibly strong teenage boy named Jonah. Jonah is from South Jersey and he’s a huge Sixers fan. His one wish before he gets too sick was to meet his favorite team. Today was that day!
Sadly though, before he was scheduled to visit us in Camden, NJ for a tour of the Sixers Practice Facility, we received an upsetting phone call. Two of his angels Joe and Renee, who are active members in the community and helping to organize this meeting, informed us that he was being rerouted to the CHOP and could not stop by. Of course, this was difficult news for all of us awaiting his arrival. Jonah had been battling cancer for some time now and lost his leg prior to coming. He was on hospice and experiencing complications. On top of his battle with cancer, he also lost his mother to a heart attack while he was in recovery. So of course once the Sixers community heard of Jonah’s story there was no more to be said. He was determined to meet the team as well, in fear that he might not have another opportunity like this. We embraced him with open arms, although he did more for us meeting him than we could ever do! Just the strength of this young man today, to muster up the energy for a detour on the way to the hospital was so inspiring. Even though he couldn’t get out of the car to express his excitement, his tears of joy said it all. This moment was defining for him and he didn’t have to say a word. I’m so thankful and amazed that the athletes I work with are incredible people.
The Sixers have some of the most selfless, involved and caring young men I’ve ever worked with. From the top of the roster to the bottom and I can not praise them enough. Our guys were so gentle and compassionate. It’s moments like these that make you realize how important we all are to each other. The human connection is the most powerful bond of all. Loving each other and giving to others is the greatest gift a person can give. WE LOVE YOU JONAH! Thank you for showing us what strength looks like and how to fight every day. This season is for you! #JonahStrong #WeLoveYOu