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.


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