Proceeds to benefit accelerate brain cancer cure


Sunday, February 20, 2011


We are still very numb from Saturday's unbelievable and incredible experience. As I wrote about yesterday Justin had his pregame meal. We waited in the hotel room before leaving to go to the convention center at 9:15 am. You could see that Justin was nervous and anxious and very excited about this huge day. I think I could see the wheels turning in his head about all the things he has done the past 18 months for Justin's Quest coming down to this last day. He was very clingy to me as he was seeking support and reassurance. I was trying to keep him calm as I know when the lights and camera start rolling he goes into a different mode, a zone of determination to make the most of the situation to raise awareness and have fun. Before we left the room, I gave Justin a kiss and a big hug to tell him how proud I am of him and how much I loved him and he hugged me back so hard to acknowledge that he is ready and appreciated his support. We got into a cab with Chris and Lauren from NBTS to the convention center. We were met by Patrick and other folks from the NBA. I have to say that the NBA is such an unbelievable organization for doing this. The people are so down to earth and really organized this event for JQ not for their publicity, but to make Justin happy and help him in his Quest to raise awareness and find a cure for brain tumors. You could see in Justin's eyes that he was a bit nervous but incredibly excited. Patrick put orange floor bands on each of us for access to the court. I asked if Justin could shoot some practice hoops before the big moment and they said no problem. He looked determined. Justin and I went to the court and Justin grabbed a ball and started shooting with me as the rebounder at around 10 am. All of the sudden you saw Justin in his element getting into a zone knowing that in about 45 minutes he will make his last shot and do TV interviews. The stands started to fill up rapidly and there was a ton of media around. Justin just kept shooting free throws, layups, and 3 pointers. It was so hot under the lights, I was Justin's personal assistant getting him gatorade and wiping the sweat off his face. I was in a zone also, reflecting back on what Justin has done and what is about to happen. I was nervous for him because he wants so badly to do well for the cause. Chris handed out media releases to all the media present, then they flocked to Justin for interviews and pictures. Again, I was blown away how poised he is in front of a camera. He tells his story so well and so natural and from the heart. The press, NBA people and others present were blown away. The time was getting close for the big moment. We met the emcee of the event Chris Miles. He was so awesome as I was explaining Justin's story to him we both had tears in our eyes. He has 2 young kids and was blown away by Justin and his courage, he hugged both of us. We gave Chris a JQ wristband and he eagerly put it on. Patrick told us to hang out on the side of the court while the 26 All Stars come onto the court and for Justin to come out when emcee Chris calls him. It felt like an hour but it was only 5 minutes until Justin was called for showtime. The NBA strapped a microphone on Justin for the big moment as he was going to address the packed crowd of over 5000 people. Then the moment came. Chris was describing to the crowd that we have a special boy here today diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and he continued to describe his quest. Chris had the crowd and players silent as he was describing Justin's Quest. At that moment, I am saying to myself "I cannot believe that this boy is here doing such an wonderful thing for the world" I had chills and tears in my eyes as I heard Justin describe to the packed house why he is here and what it means. As a parent I could not be more proud of Justin than I was at this moment with all his hard work, his anxious times at the countless doctors and hospital visits and his will to find a cure for brain tumors, he will actually finish this Quest. The emcee called Justin to the free throw line and he was surrounded by all 26 players on the court. I was out there with him proudly watching. There was so many cameras on him. The emcee said that Justin is at 62,997 baskets. Justin walked to the free throw line confident and with swagger in front of the packed house of people cheering and the cameras clicking. He was about to attempt the most important free throw of his life. It was like game 7 at the NBA championship game with the game on the line. He takes the first shot and it rims out. Then he dribbles and concentrates for his next shot and sinks it. The emcee says 62,998 and 2 baskets to go. The emcee asks Justin who do you want help from of the 26 players here today. I held my breath as Justin said Pau Gasol.Pau came up to Justin and said he was honored to help Justin. Pau an excellent free throw shooter missed his first attempt only to proclaim to Justin that he was nervous. Then Pau sank his second shot, they both went 1 for 2. 62,999, then the emcee said lets dunk the brain tumor and Pau picked up Justin and he dunked the ball with authority as if a weight had been lifted of his shoulders by dunking his brain tumor and everyone else who has a brain tumor. 63,000!!!! the crowd went wild! Pau was such an awesome guy. Then I had the players sign his ball that was used for the last shot and his Jersey. It was amazing. Justin gave each player a JQ band as they signed his JQ jersey. We will certainly frame it. Justin did some more interviews and the we came back to the hotel for lunch and decompressed from an unforgettable day that we were and still numb from. I am so humbled and honored that the NBA and everyone involved with Justin's Quest has helped Justin achieve his dream. It is not over for Justin as he will work with NBTS in the Spring with their new awareness campaign. To see more of that go to day was not over as we went to the Staples Center for the slam Dunk contest. We had incredible seats for this event. Blake Griffin as was Javale McGhee were fantastic. Justin even got a chanc to see meet one of his favorite football players Terrell Owens("aka T.O.". T.O. was sitting on the floor next to Shaq across the court. Justin said to me I have to meet T.O. and I said it cannot happen as you do not have the credentials to get the floor. Justin as determined as ever and not taking NO for an answer dragged me to the other side of the court. He somehow convinced security to let him on the floor. Once he was there he introduced himself to T.O. and told him about JQ. Security then tried to whisk Justin away and T.O. stopped them as he listen to Justin shook his hand and signed his shirt. I am telling you this story as it is another exemplary moment in Justin's life where his determination and courage will never let him down and help him accomplish anything in life, that is why he is so special and he will conquer his brain tumor and continue on his quest to find a cure and raise awareness for brain tumors.The only thing missing for me was I wish that Audrey, Jordan, Jacob and Joey could be here to see this. A huge thank you to all. I have to do a separate blog for all our thank yous because everyone has been so special, supportive and nice.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


WOW!!! IT is finally here. Sorry I did not blog yesterday, but so hectic and by the time we got back to the hotel we were exhausted as our day started at 4:30am EST. The plane ride was long and thankfully Justin took 2 naps. I had prepared for the 5 1/2 flight getting Justin some of his favorite foods for the plane: cinnamon pretzels and a 5 guys double cheeseburger. We landed and met Chris Grundner from NBTS and went straight to the hotel. WE had 15 minutes to get dressed and met Patrick from the NBA who was very instrumental in making this weekend happen.( big thanks goes to all the NBA folks who made this happen). On our way from the convention center we say Charles Barkley having a late lunch at Lawry's Carvery. We asked Justin do you want to meet him and of course he said definitely. Justin and I approached Charles at his table with a friend and we introduced ourselves and told him about Justin's story. He listened attently and was genuinely interested in Justin's plight. He posed with Justin for a photo. It definitley helped that we were wearing our NBA credentials around our neck. Then we saw the celebrity game with Scottie Pippen and Justin Bieber just to name a few at the convention center.The game was great. Then we went to the rookie challenge at the Staples Center. It poured down raining and was cold. We ran through the streets and got soaked. Finally we came back to the Omni Hotel( awesome by the way) and crashed as we were so tired. Justin woke up at 6:30am PST and said he was starving. We showered and had a very candid conversation about what today meant to him. It was emotional to hear his thoughts. He is excited and nervous. We had a wonderful Breakfast( which is Justin's favorite meal). He had a homemade waffle and french toast( low carb)as his pre game meal. We are in the hotel room waiting to leave in 35 minutes for the convention center for the big moment. I will update you later...It will be awesome today!!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We just received the awesome news yesterday that Laker All Star Pau Gasol will be the superstar who will shoot with Justin for his last shots with many of the 26 All Stars present on the court and watching Justin. Justin and the family are so excited. Justin and his brothers anxiously followed Pau Gasol in last night's game against Cleveland. He had a career night 30 points and 20 rebounds. We are putting the final touches on our packing for the journey to LA. Justin is so excited for this weekend but also a little sad that this quest is coming to an end. He wants to continue to fight for the cure for brain tumors and raise awareness. He will be involved in NBTS's new awareness campaign that will be launched in the Spring. As parents, Audrey and I cannot be more proud of Justin. We are also very proud of his brothers, Jordan, Jacob, and Joey for their love and support of Justin and his Quest, as I have always said it is a family brain tumor. I was talking with Audrey and reflecting about how far we have come from the infancy of this idea to make a difference after Justin's diagnosis in March 2009 to this weekend. It is truly mind blowing what Justin and our family have done. We have worked very hard with NBTS to raise awareness. Who would have thought that we would have met and shot hoops with President Obama ( a big thanks to Jay Rosenberg for making that happen),Michael Phelps and countless others. I must be perfectly candid, I knew in my heart that Justin's Quest would be big and make a difference. It was Justin's calling to help others upon his diagnosis of his brain tumor. I know for me personally it will be a very emotional weekend. Well enough of my rambling...I will be filling everyone in with blogs for this awesome weekend to come. Stay tuned and glued to your seats..Let the festivities begin!!! Lastly, I want to thank Chris Grundner, Director of Awareness for NBTS for making this weekend possible. He like us has poured his blood sweat and tears into this project.

Monday, February 14, 2011

5 Days Until The NBA All Star Weekend

Justin spent the weekend with his brothers and cousins practicing his shot. They played hoops and shot 130 baskets toward his goal. Justin and his brothers are trying to guess the NBA player who he will shoot with. Justin and I are the only 2 family members attending this wonderful dream weekend. The rest of the family will be home cheering for Justin and awaiting for many updates from us about the weekend. Will keep you posted of updates!!! Thanks again for everyones love and support!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Justin vs. Dad

This has been a very stressful week for Justin and the family as we were at Mass General Hospital(MGH) in Boston for testing. You would think it would get easier for these appointments, but quite the contrary it is harder. We were so impressed by MGH and all the doctors that we meet. Everyone was so nice to Justin, we really appreciate that and they have been following his Quest. He was like a little celebrity and they were very appreciative of all his efforts to find a cure for brain tumors and raise awareness. We want to give a special shout out to Stephanie and Dr. MacDonald for making our visit possible, they are awesome. It has been an emotional roller coaster for the almost 2 years since he has been diagnosed. We are now coming to the end of Justin's Quest next weekend at the NBA All Star event and it is so bitter sweet. We are so happy that Justin has made a difference but we want to say at some point in his life that Justin "HAD" a brain tumor. Justin is supposed to shoot his last 3 hoops at the NBA All Star practice on Saturday morning in front of all the media and the 26 All Star players present. We still have no idea which of the 26 he will shoot with. He is so excited. To get ready for his last shots, Justin and I played 3 games of horse and guess who won.... NOT ME..of course Justin destroyed me. It was a very nice bonding moment for him and I to talk about what is going on in his life and the stresses of this past week. We discussed who he wants to shoot his last shots with and he said any of the 26 players would be great but he said he would love to shoot with Lebron or Kobe too. Justin and I shot 50 baskets in total.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It Has Been A Big Week

Justin the past coulple of days has shot 100 baskets with his brothers. His 3 brothers have been so supportive of him with his Quest. Trust me he would not be in such a good place without their love and support. He has been getting extra hugs from his brothers and that really helps him out. Justin will be visiting Mass General Hosipital on Monday and Tuesday for an unexpected visit. As you can imagine he is very nervous and anxious but completeing his Quest is keeping him going as is his visit to the NBA All Star game weekend.