Chris Paul to host family grieving mother’s death at Clippers-Pistons game
Upon learning of how he was tangentially related to a mom and son’s shared love of the game of basketball, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Chris Paul set out to make sure that he did something to help the family deal with the mother’s death.
Lisa Elaine Gallagher, 49, tragically passed away in early September after a hard-fought battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. She was only given six months to live after being diagnosed last November but battled hard.
Paul learned of her death and how her son, Jack, 13, was a big fan of his after seeing a video posted to the Internet in which a pair of his shoes hold a very special place in the family’s dealing with their grief.
After watching the video, Paul contacted his personal assistant and wife and told them to locate the Gallagher family.
“I sent them the link,” Paul recalled, per a Los Angeles Times report, “and I said, ‘Find him.'”
The Gallaghers, father Michael and six children, eventually were tracked down in Erie, Pa., and will travel three-and-a-half hours to watch Paul and the Clippers play the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday night as the Clippers point guard’s guests.
Paul will inscribe “L.E.G.” on his shoes before the game in tribute to Lisa Elaine Gallagher.
The reason Paul’s shoes take such a prominent place in how the NBA star and Gallagher family came together has something to do with pair of Chris Paul sneakers.
Lisa, before Jack had his seventh-grade basketball tryouts, surprised her son with a pair of CP3 shoes, knowing the sneakers would mean a lot to Jack as Paul is his favorite player.
When the shoes wouldn’t fit any longer, Jack was heartbroken, but figured out a way to pay tribute to his mom, a basketball player herself.
“I got kind of sad,” Jack said of taking them off for the last time, “because they were the last pair of shoes that my mom got me.”
He placed one of the sneakers on his mother’s grave and placed flowers in it, a scene featured in the video Paul happened upon online. The other shoe Jack keeps in his duffel bag and touches before every eighth-grade basketball game.
The video featuring Jack discussing his mother’s love of basketball and how he wished Paul would one day write his mother’s initials on his shoes before a game especially touched Paul when he saw the footage.
“To know that someone cares about me that much to where his mom did that for him and to know he put that on his mom’s grave,” Paul said, “I got goose bumps, I got chills.”
So, Paul will write those initials on his shoes, recognizing that while it may not take away the pain the family has endured, it will remind the Gallaghers that her spirit will always endure because of the bonds shared between mother and son over the game of basketball.
“Sometimes,” Paul said, “stuff is bigger than the game of basketball.”
His generous actions in a selfless effort to temporarily brighten the spirits of a grieving family prove that more than Paul probably realizes.