Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban Funds Dream Wedding for Texas Couple Rocked by Tragedy

Mark Cuban arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
John Shearer/Associated Press
Jim CavanContributor IMay 20, 2014

Whether it’s supposed slights by NBA referees, contrarian stances on league drug policy or his weekly Shark Tank exploits, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban always seems to find his way to the top of the news chain.

This time, though, the story is as sweet and sincere as can be.

According to Janet St. James of WFAA.com, back in April, Cuban funded a dream wedding for a Watauga, Texas couple that had fallen on the hardest of times:

Monica [Wilkinson] and her fiance Leroy had planned since 2009 to marry and become parents together. But a series of miscarriages, a late-term still-born daughter, and financial struggles canceled the wedding several times.

Then in January came a devastating diagnosis of Stage 4 ovarian cancer that has spread. Monica underwent emergency surgery and is in the process of 18 rounds of chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is next…

Bills from cancer treatment began piling up. After reaching out to charity organizations for financial assistance to make their wedding happen, Monica recently got an unexpected call out of the blue.

That call was from one of Mark Cuban’s assistants, who informed Monica Wilkinson the owner-impresario wanted to foot the bill for her big day. What resulted was, as Wilkinson herself described, a "perfect day filled with love, hope, and joy.”

"Now we actually have those memories that can actually get us through," Wilkinson said. "I can go back and have those pictures now and have a reason to smile. Because I got to feel special and it was all thanks to Mark Cuban."

Details about the wedding itself weren’t disclosed, although that seems irrelevant in light of the larger story: That for as much as we like to characterize professional sports owners as cruel caricatures of greed and cupidity, such heartfelt heroics are well worth applauding.

Chalk it up to yet another tile in the multi-layered mosaic that is Mark Cuban's reputation, as D Magazine’s Mitchell Schnurman underscored in this 2011 profile of the eccentric Mavs owner:

Cuban can be profane, even obnoxious, but generally, he’s insightful and fun. And he’s always strategic—which is one reason to track him. He weighs in on Google+ to show off his tech bona fides; talks about banning ESPN.com from the Mavs’ locker room to protect his players; and tweets about sweat equity to promote his role on ABC’s Shark Tank.

That it took over a month for this story to surface says something pretty important about Cuban as well. Namely that—even when the opportunity is there to take it—credit for something this genuinely good is sometimes best left unclaimed.

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