Hunter Simmons, 18, finished treatment for Leukemia over the summer & last night at the Timberwolves/Lakers game (108 – 86) he got to meet one of his heroes, Derrick Rose, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Having played through various side-lining knee injuries since his NBA start in 2008, the All-Star guard had words of encouragement for Simmons:
When you go through life it’s not always going to be perfect. There’s always going to be challenges and trouble to overcome, you know what I’m saying? And your struggle, you ain’t going through it by yourself bro… Everybody’s going through something.
Leukemia (cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system) effects tens of thousands of people in the U.S. alone each year. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, an estimated combined total of 174,250 people in the US are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2018. (Thanks for that buzzkill stat, Kate.)
Thirteen years ago my Grandpop passed from this cancer, and I’m glad to see the progress that has been made since, and people like Simmons who get through treatment & are able to enjoy life. To put it lightly, it’s an awful thing to watch anyone go through, so it felt pretty damn good to watch him proudly tell Rose that he still played basketball during his senior year of High School & that he’s now a student at San Diego State. It’s also important that athletes like Rose are pairing with orgs like the Make-A-Wish Foundation & are taking the time to uplift those who’ve faced life-altering cancers & diseases.
“It was great. It was everything I imaged and more. It was a great feeling. I was super nervous, but I am really grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate everything the Minnesota Timberwolves organization has done for me, everyone with Make-A-Wish, and it was a dream come true, honestly,” Simmons said.
Simmons was able to watch warmups on the bench before the game with his parents and four siblings. They then stayed to watch the Wolves beat the Lakers.
Good vibes for a Monday, indeed, (even if you’re a Lakers fan).