DORCHESTER, Mass. - A teenager suffering from cancer wishes to meet his hero, basketball star Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics. Through an amazing amount of “guardian angel magic,” his wish is granted through national children’s charity, Kids Wish Network.
17-year-old Deon was having a normal Thursday at school when he felt his jaw crack a little bit. He ignored it and kept on with his day. By Friday, the pain was more severe and he made a trip to the dentist for an X-ray. The dentist took a look at his X-ray and sent Deon straight to the ER. There, he was diagnosed with having an osteoblastoma, which is a rare bone-forming tumor, in his jaw. He was rushed into surgery to try and remove the tumor; the surgery took almost 10 hours.
“Everything happened so fast,” said Deon’s mother, Sherine. “He suffers so much each day and it just breaks my heart.”
Since the initial surgery, Deon has undergone three other surgeries and has had the lower part of his jaw bone removed.
During one of her many trips to the hospital with Deon, a social worker asked Sherine if she had ever thought of getting an organization to grant a wish for her son. She replied that she hadn’t and, when she got home, Sherine started looking into it; she found national children’s charity Kids Wish Network. Once in contact with a Kids Wish representative, Sherine was confidant that this organization was the only one who would be able to grant her son’s wish the way he wanted it to be.
When it came down to actually wishing, Deon indulged his love of basketball and asked to meet his favorite player, Boston Celtics’ power forward, Kevin Garnett.
The city of Boston came together with Kids Wish Network to make Deon’s wish come true; Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston Police Athletic League, and the Laboure’ College of Nursing as well as some other outstanding sponsors worked hard to grant Deon’s wish.
Before he knew it, Deon was in the Boston Garden eagerly waiting for the start of the Celtics game against the Memphis Grizzlies so he could meet up with Kevin Garnett immediately following the post-game press conference. Earlier in the day, he and his family visited the New England Aquarium for a behind-the-scenes tour and enjoyed lunch at DJ’s at the Garden restaurant. The day before, Deon had the sports fan experience of a lifetime while dining at the famous Four’s Restaurant and Sports Bar. To top it all off, they were staying at the beautiful Onyx Hotel right in the middle of Boston. It was like some sort of awesome dream.
For her son, Sherine said that the wish was “a day for him of pure laughter, pure enjoyment…it’s something I could’ve never done for him.”
Right after the experiencing the thrill of watching a Celtics game in person, Deon was taken to meet his hero, where he was starstruck.
Kevin Garnett shook Deon’s hand and greeted the teen. He even autographed a basketball for Deon, which, according to Sherine, “Deon said he’s [Kevin Garnett] never autographed a ball for anyone, ever.” Deon experienced a very special moment and received a souvenir that he will treasure for years to come.
“It was a day we didn’t have to go to the hospital, we didn’t have to worry,” said Sherine of Deon’s wish. “It’s been a long time since my children have smiled like that. It was something we all really enjoyed. I’m so thankful for it all.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Deon’s wish such a special experience: Mayor Thomas Menino, Boston Police Athletic League, Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church, Laboure’ College of Nursing, Kevin Garnett, The Boston Celtics, The Onyx Hotel, The Four’s Restaurant and Sports Bar and the New England Aquarium.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children in crisis. Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is just a way of bringing them that joy. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know a child who is suffering from a life-threatening illness and may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org
Written by: Editorial Staff