In response to a wonderful WKOW-TV feature on Ebony Nettles-Bey (h/t Extra Mustard), folks in Wisconsin have begun a Twitter campaign to help the 16-year-old suffering from a rare and often fatal form of cancer realize her dream of meeting LeBron James.
Using the hashtag #LeBronMeetEbony, thousands of users have joined the effort to convince James to visit the Verona (Wis.) Area High junior guard who was diagnosed with stage four Rhabdomyosarcoma during an AAU tournament this past sumer.
“At a couple open gyms, I was having trouble breathing,” Nettles-Bey told WKOW. “Then, I went to an AAU tournament. I couldn’t go up and down twice. I was just dead. Then, I went in to the hospital Monday. I had a lump under my breast like on my rib. So, my mom took me to the hospital. They said I had a lot of fluid on my lungs. That’s why I couldn’t breathe very good. After that, that led to me being diagnosed with sarcoma cancer.”
Nettles-Bey captured First-Team All-Conference honors as a sophomore at Madison (Wis.) West High last season, reportedly earning a scholarship offer from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before transferring to Verona for her junior prep season.
The cancer, however, would prevent her from playing for the Wildcats this winter. Or at least that's what doctors told her. Despite treatments that shed the hair from her head and 10 pounds from her 5-foot-7 frame, according to the local TV station, Nettles-Bey made the team and has averaged 4.1 points in 12 appearances for 16-1 Verona.
She wears a yellow headband on her bald head with "No One Fights Alone" written in black letters, and her teammates wear black "Beat Cancer" t-shirts during warmups.
“When I play basketball, I don’t really think about cancer,” Nettles-Bey told WKOW. "It kind of relates to cancer. If you give up in a game -- if you’re getting blown out -- then you’ll lose, but if you keep fighting back, then you still have a chance to win. I’m going to beat it. I think that if I give up, I will die, but if I keep being strong, then I won’t.”
For the record, the Miami Heat visit the Chicago Bulls -- under a three-hour drive from Verona -- on March 9, which is an off day during Wisconsin's Division 1 girls' basketball tournament. #LeBronMeetEbony, indeed.
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