A Birthday To Remember…
Friends of Zachary,
After waiting in anticipation for what seemed like “forever”, Zachary finally received the birthday gift of a lifetime – a meet-and-greet with someone he idolizes, legendary basketball superstar LeBron James of the Miami Heat. We flew to South Beach, Miami on October 25th, the day Zachary turned 11, to attend the Miami Heat’s final pre-season game against the Brooklyn Nets. When we arrived at the American Airlines Arena, we were greeted with warm welcomes and gifts from the Miami Heat representatives. We were escorted through the complex, viewing mural lined walls showcasing great moments in Heat history including legendary players, coaches and championship parades. We also had the privilege of viewing the “Players Wall,” nearly 2 walls listing the names of every player in Heat history. It was very impressive. We were also excited to run into the Miami Heat Dancers who greeted us warmly and posed for pictures.
During our tour, we passed court-side where the legend himself, LeBron (along with Chris Bosh), was warming up. We were escorted back to an area near the locker room entrance where Chris Anderson flew past as he took to the court for warm-ups. Chris Bosh came by and posed for a photo with the boys. Finally, after all the build up, the great LeBron James emerged from the court and proceeded to walk down the mural lined halls toward us. He stopped and smiled as he shook Zachary and Matthew’s hands. Thankfully they were wearing LeBron Jerseys as he was quick to sign them. A few photo’s opportunities then off to locker room to get ready for the game.
Shortly after, we were invited to sit court-side during warm-ups where we had a great view of Chris Anderson. He moved around the court unfazed by the guests and fans that lined the court to get a glimpse of these iconic players. We then had the opportunity to pose for a few center court photos and were paid a surprise visit from mascot Burnie, who presented a few more gifts and embraced the family with humor and jovial antics.
Although our time with LeBron James and Chris Bosh was brief, it was a wonderful and memorable experience. One, that will live with Zachary for a lifetime.
I am proud that Zachary has fulfilled many of his childhood dreams and met with many celebrities he looked up to…including: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Chris Anderson, Mariano Rivera, Joe Girardi, David Robertson, David Wright, Carlos Mendes (NY Cosmos), Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. Zachary cherishes every moment and is truly humbled by these experiences. He is so appreciative of the introductions to celebrities that have been so supportive and certainly takes nothing for granted. It was an honor to have met so many wonderful individuals along his journey.
For now, we will focus on his physical and occupational therapy and our continuing search for the most progressive and alternative therapies that will hopefully put his disease into remission and keep him healthy and happy until his next birthday. He is scheduled to have an MRI scan in early November. I will post an update once we have the results.
Our sincerest gratitude to Aunt Joy, Uncle Robert and the entire Miami Heat organization for a wonderful 11th birthday experience.
Deena, David, Matthew and Zachary
It Takes A Village