Losing his brother to cancer, Celtics defensive guard Marcus Smart has made it his advocacy to do his part for the patients at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
Thus, an unlikely friendship was forged between the 23-year-old and 16-year-old Sammy Dubois, who was diagnosed with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia in December last year.
According to the article from ESPN, it was their common love for Nerf guns that drew them together, and Smart has made it his mission to see her treatments through. The teenager was already released from the hospital after she licked the Big C.
When Smart was recognized in London for his work with the New England Baptist Hospital Community Champions award, he knows exactly whom to bring along. Dubois joined him on stage and read a letter that expressed what the NBA players meant to her as a friend.
The London trip for Dubois is courtesy of James Pallotta, the owner of A.S. Roma, who won the ticket in the auction to watch live the game against the Philadelphia 76ers overseas. He paid $45,000 for the winning bid, but he gave the ticket to the teenager. Kyrie Irving also gave another $45,000 as donation to the family.
Smart was very thankful for the help by the generosity of Pallota and Irving.
“It just showed that, in today’s society, as an athlete or somebody with a high profile, we’re always in the media but you always see the bad things,” Smart said. “You never really see the good things.”
When Smart was drafted in 2014, he honored his brother who died of cancer in 2004 when the Celtics guard was just nine years old. When he turned 15, he had a tattoo on his right arm to make sure he always remembers.
Smart called his brother the bravest person he knew because he tried to never show any pain. “But he did tell me never take any days for granted because as quickly as it was given to you, it can be taken away just as fast,” he said.