Dante's hoop dreams come t rue.
WI SH TEEN DANTE MORREIRA LOVES PLAYING AND WATCHING SPORTS, PARTICULARLY Basketball. So it was disheartening when, during spring break of last year, he began feeling weak and couldn't move as he normally did. Doctors found a tumor on his ribs and he was later diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Th e tumor grew, and as a result, Dante had several ribs removed. He now has several prosthetic ribs, and he's not 100 percent sure of what the long- term effects will be.
During that uncertain time, Dante's mom, CJ, would motivate him with Michael Jordan mugs and Chicago Bulls cups for him to use for taking his medicines. “I would always tell him, ‘ Do it for the Bulls,' and this would help him push through,” CJ says. When it came time for Dante to make his wish, he knew exactly what to ask for. “His fi rst wish was that he wanted to meet Michael Jordan, but when he found out that Michael Jordan was not in Chicago, he decided he really wanted to see the Chicago Bulls play a game,” CJ explains. “Dante watches a lot of basketball, so he knew that he wanted basketball to be part of his wish.”
Th e entire family loves the Bulls and Dante, CJ and Dante's two brothers were treated to time with the team in Chicago. His older brothers, motivated to be there for Dante, saved up to pay for their tickets to Chicago. Th ey were able to attend a practice, play two- on- two with some of the players and sit courtside at the Bulls game.
“Dante loved going to the game, he was in the spotlight and there was so much energy being down on the court,” CJ says. “He got to sit right in front of the cheerleaders and really enjoyed that.”
The players presented Dante with his own jersey, which was emblazoned with his favorite number, and signed by the entire team.
One of his most memorable moments was when Jimmy Butler noticed Dante courtside during the game. Butler threw the rubber bracelets from his wrists to Dante— he's worn them almost every day since.
CJ is thankful for the wish granters who visited the family often, even when Dante was in the hospital. “[ Th at] meant a lot to us, and especially Dante,” she says.
Of the entire experience, CJ says, “It was just priceless, and I think every child should get this opportunity when battling a life- threatening condition. It will help them set their mind to something else when going through treatments.
It was nothing less t han a dream come true for Make-AWish recipient Dante Morreira, who spent one-on-one time with t he Chicago Bulls at a private practice followed by court side seats to a game