Thursday, October 30, 2008

A wish and a lift

It's been a rough couple of days for the Portland Trail Blazers. The combination of getting blown out on opening night and Greg Oden's foot injury seemed to take the wind out of this team's sails. But today at the practice facility a friend of the team helped shed a bit of perspective on the things that are most important in life.

Cody Wippel, a life-long Trail Blazers fan, has osteosarcoma, the most common type of bone cancer in people ages 10 to 25. It's a life-threatening condition, one that has forced Cody to endure chemotherapy, surgeries and weeks in the hospital. It's a tough fight, but it's one Cody seems to be winning.


So today in Tualatin, Cody was invited along with a friend to watch the Trail Blazers practice, something that few people outside of the organization ever get to do. That in and of itself is pretty cool, but the big surprise came after practice when head coach Nate McMillan called Cody to center court and presented him with two season tickets which were donated by the team to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to fulfill Cody's wish. It was an act that was meant to lift Cody's spirits, but according to Nate McMillan, having Cody at practice lifted the team's spirits as well.

"I met Cody last year," said McMillan. "He's a huge Blazers fan and it's great to see him doing good.

"It was really a lift for the team. We were a little bit down. We need to get fired up and get ready for this game tomorrow and Cody brought a smile to the guy's faces today. It's nice to see him doing well."

Sometimes we put so much thought and energy into this team that we need to take a step back and realize that there are bigger things at stake than the game. Having Cody around today seemed to help the team realize that.

7 comments:

cogley said...

How F*in cool. Thats class.

BRoyFTW said...

I really like stories like this, it warms my heart. I'm glad the Blazers get to change perspective and take some focus off of the game for a second. Hopefully this inspires them to play with a sense of purpose.

cogley said...

Quotes from the picture.....

Rudy: there is picture taking. Cheese!

Steve: Geez i hope they believe this smile...

Martell: boy i sure love that joel guy, he's so special...

Jerryd: don't i look cool... looks like i have an earring man...

Joel: hear that? i'm special.

Nate: this is as close as you'll get to a smile, take it already.

Shavlik: look at monty's head... ooh... shiny...

Cody: Censored

Monty: i wish that dude would stop staring at my head...

Brandon: man... channing's probably gonna put this on myspace...

Mrs Wippel: So many tall men...

Mr. Wippel: has anyone heard of deodorant???

Lamarcus: Look! Channing has two heads!

Channing: This is goin on myspace....

Youngest Wippel: i feel so small!

Sergio: Ew, Nic needs to clean his ears...

Nicolas: I am not understand, why take picture?

RICK said...

THIS TEAM HAS A SPECIAL GIFT,AND IT IS ONE THAT SHOULD BE SHARED.WE ARE VERY PROUD OF THIS NEW YOUNG TEAM.NEVER HANG YOUR HEADS, YOU ARE THE FUTURE.WE THE FANS WILL SUPPORT THIS TEAM NO MATTER WHAT!!!! THANK YOU.

Dan Hickman said...

Thanks for posting that story, Casey. You're exactly right: there are bigger things than the game. In the middle of all the hype, the expectations and the roller coaster that is the Portland Trailblazers, we need to remember that life is not a game and the game is not life.

danilopinho said...

Casey,
Tell the players one thing for tonight's game:
they need to be thrilled. they need to be more agressive, support and excite each other. I felt like they were just watching the lakers on Tuesday. there was no soul. GO BLAZERS!!!

Rick_Dawg said...

I couldn't help but notice Greg wasn't in the photo. Man I hope he got to be around that kid even for just a little bit, because if anyone needs to see that basketball is just a game and not a matter of life and death like Cody's sarcoma it's Greg. Good post Casey, good luck Blazers, good luck Cody.