This week, ESPN featured Charlotte’s Stephen Curry granting a wish for a local girl who in remission after battling cancer. It is part of a now 10-year-old tradition where ESPN has partnered with the Make-A-Wish foundation to film inspiring stories of children faced with life threatening conditions who are granted wishes to meet sports celebrities.
This week, the sports network told the story of 14-year-old Ashley Wagner, who lives in Sherrill’s Ford, on Lake Norman. She was active basketball player before being diagnosed with leukemia in the spring of 2015. The months-long chemotherapy treatment, which included steroid-induced diabetes and lumbar punctures (think spinal taps), caused Ashley to lose her hair and suffer neuropathy in her feet so bad that she could not walk for a time.
“It was like someone taken from your life for a period of time,” her brother, Grant, said in the ESPN piece.
Ashley is now in remission and when she was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation, she didn’t think of herself. She decided to try to surprise her brother with his wish: to meet Steph Curry.
That wish came true.
Curry, the Charlotte Christian graduate and former Davidson star, invited the twins and their family to California for a fun day at an amusement park with Curry and his wife Ayesha. Steph Curry gave them free shoes, jerseys and other gifts. Then the Wagner family got to attend a Warriors game and sit courtside and watch Curry lead the Warriors to a home win against Washington.
It’s a touching story that may make it hard to keep up the Warriors-as-the-enemy narrative that began after Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City to join Curry’s team, creating a potential super-power out west.
▪ Disney – which owns ESPN – has been a partner with Make-A-Wish for more than 35 years and has helped the organization grant more than 100,000 Disney-related wishes, including the first official wish in 1980.