Good Sport!

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.

( pho­tos cour­tesy Make-A-Wish ).

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

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