A New Zealand boy who has longed to see the Boston Celtics play may be getting his wish soon.
Louis Corbett found out last March that his sight was deteriorating due to a condition called retinitis pigmentosa. It is an inherited disease—two of Louis' four siblings also have the condition—that makes one's vision progressively worse, and according to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, most people with the condition are legally blind by the age of 40.
In the last six months, Louis' vision has deteriorated rapidly, according to Celtic Louis, the family's website. With his eyesight declining, the Celtics are working hard to make the boy's dream of seeing the team play live a reality.
Update: Thursday, March 6 at 7:05 p.m. EST
Corbett's dream came true. Not only did he get to watch his favorite team play, but he also got to meet his favorite player, Rajon Rondo:
MassLive.com's Jay King shared Rondo's recollection of the experience:
He came in the locker room before the game. He met me. I didn’t know I was his favorite player. We had some words. Very happy kid. What he’s going through, he still has a smile on his face. He’s very humble. Because we all get to do what we love to do for a living and you never know, at any moment, it could be taken from you. You just try not to take anything for granted.
As Facebook shows, Rondo gave Corbett his game-worn (and autographed) shoes. Sadly, the Celtics lost 108-88 to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
--End of Update--
The New Zealand Herald's Vaimoana Tapaleao shared the details:
Top US basketball team the Boston Celtics have reached out to a young Kiwi fan whose one wish is to see them play live before he goes blind.
His story featured in the Weekend Herald and owners of the Boston Celtics heard about it via Twitter.
Co-owners of the team Wycliffe and Corrine Grousbeck have a son, Campbell, who is blind and attends the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts.
In a joint statement to the Herald yesterday, they said: 'We found out about Louis through the magic of social media and the fact that some of our followers knew about our connection to Perkins and tweeted the article to us.'
They have offered to pay for Louis to travel to the US to watch a game.
The Celtics have offered to host the 12-year-old on March 5 when they take on the Golden State Warriors.
According to Celtic Louis, Air New Zealand has offered to pay for Louis' flight to the United States and pay for part of his father's ticket. The family is still looking for ways to raise money for the rest of his father's airfare—and possibly getting the two to Disneyland.
Louis' story made its way around the web, and now the boy is getting closer to being able to see his favorite basketball team play in person.