As if Indiana didn’t love Victor Oladipo already, the Pacers star is tugging at their heartstrings now.
On April 16, the day after Oladipo scored 32 points to give his Indiana Pacers a 1-0 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, 10-year-old Cameron Kirk of Danville, Indiana, was diagnosed with leukemia. Eleven days later, on the same date Oladipo logged a triple-double to send the series to a Game 7, the All-Star guard penned a heartfelt message to the young Pacers fan.
This man is hands down one of the best role models in a long time! His speech after Game 7 was phenomenal & Cameron receiving this today proves his words are genuine! Thank you @VicOladipo you put a huge smile on my son’s face and made mom & dad’s hearts happy! #CaptainKirk pic.twitter.com/W4mYyHiRGr
— Carrie Kirk (@carrie_kirk) May 3, 2018
Here’s what Oladipo wrote:
I recently heard about your battle with Leukemia, and I just wanted to encourage you to stay strong! I know this is a scary and very frustrating time right now, but you must believe in yourself and everyone around you that is helping you through this time.
May God give you the strength, comfort, and special blessings that you need as you face each new day. No matter the road you are given, remember to never give up. You never know what God has planned or your life.
I wish you all the best through your treatment and encourage you to keep a positive attitude and listen to your doctors, nurses and parents — they are there to help you win this battle! All my teammates and I are #CameronStrong!
And Oladipo may have even sent another message to Cameron:
“I won’t tell you what he said about LeBron,” Cameron’s mother, Carrie Kirk, told the Indianapolis Star through a laugh. “(Cameron) has just been very thankful that Victor would take the time to do this during the playoffs. He’s a very quiet kid, especially with what’s been going on.
“He just paused for a moment, and had this huge grin on his face. You could just tell.”
Four days after his diagnosis, the same day the Pacers took a 2-1 lead in their series with the Cavs, Cameron began chemotherapy. It was the first day of what doctors expect to be a three-year battle.
As of Tuesday morning, The Danville community had already raised almost $4,000 for the Kirks through a GoFundMe campaign created to help the family of six offset some of Cameron’s medical costs. You can follow Cameron’s battle with leukemia on the Captain Kirk’s Warriors Facebook page. The family is also asking people in the area to donate at the Indiana Blood Center for transfusions.
Family friends contacted the Pacers, who responded with the package that included Oladipo’s letter.
“I was already a fan and then when I read the letter, it’s the best feeling to know that someone so important took the time out to write our son a letter and then expressed his faith in God in his letter,” Carrie told WISH-TV. “That just sealed the deal with us with Oladipo. We’ll always be fans.”
This is, of course, entirely in character for Oladipo. A finalist for the NBA’s Community Assist Award two years ago, the Pacers star has made headlines routinely for his charitable nature, including the time he donated a portion of his 2015 Slam Dunk Contest earnings as part of his “Dunk Cancer” campaign.
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