Austin was on top of the world, he had just found out that he had just made the 7th grade basketball team at Hancock Middle School, everything was going as planned. But not long after the announcement, he began to hurt.
Thinking he had pulled a muscle, Carla, Austin’s mom, took him to the pediatrician for an x-ray, the results were not good. He was quickly rushed into an MRI and then told he had bone cancer. His treatment was aggressive, they started his chemo almost instantly and treated him for nine months. He also had a series of surgeries lined up to reconstruct some of his bones.
He was at the hospital more than he was home for almost 9 months. Cancer had ended his basketball career before it even began. He was told he was never going to play the sport. The love of basketball never went away for Austin, he chose to keep rooting for his favorite team, the Pelicans.
Austin knew immediately what his wish was going to be, even though his basketball playing days were over, he never lost his passion for watching his favorite basketball team. He continued to follow the stats of the Pelicans. He always dreamed of attending one of their games. One day after school, he was picked up with his family by a limo and surprised with season tickets to the Pelicans.
The first night Austin and his family had a meet-and-greet with the team. “It was awesome, I felt like I was dreaming,” said Austin. “The atmosphere of a live game is so much different than I imagined, there is an energy of the building, hearing the calls going on and just the energy of all the people that surrounded me. We didn’t know each other, but we had the same focus while the games were going on. This is definitely an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Austin wasn’t the only one who was effected by his wish, His mom Carla exclaimed, “There were probably 50 or more games from August thru April, but we made every single one of them. Even for us as a family, just to have that time that we felt like we had lost, being in the hospital, made us feel like we were making up lost time.”