Sportress of Blogitude

LeBron James sends letter, care package to terminally ill fan (pic)

LeBron James lifted the spirits of a young fan with a terminal illness by sending him a heartfelt letter along with a thoughtful care package.

The story of Emanuel Duncan, a 19-year-old suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disorder that turns muscles into fat, was first brought to the public’s awareness courtesy of a column by Gregg Doyel previously published by the Indianapolis Star. While some people afflicted with the disorder can live well into their 30s or even 40s, at 19, Duncan understands that nothing is guaranteed to him.

One of the things on Duncan’s bucket list is to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar.

“My bucket list is to meet LeBron,” he tells me, writes Doyel in the piece. “That’s the one thing I want to do. Meet LeBron James. That’s my role model. He inspires me to do everything. To be a good person, to put other people first, to live your life and do what makes you happy. If I meet LeBron James, that would make my day. I wouldn’t ask for anything.”

Doyel was recently notified by Duncan that James reached out to him via a touching letter.

Transcribed by For the Win, James’ correspondence to Duncan reads:

Hey Emanuel,

I’ve heard some pretty amazing things about you, and from what I’ve heard, I can tell you are an unbelievable coach. I know you said that I’m your role model and that I inspire you, but I know that you give so many people inspiration, including me. You are living out what it means to be a role model, to be a good person, to put others first and live life to the fullest, doing what makes you happy. It is awesome that you are inspiring so many young kids and teaching them about the importance of living life to the fullest. You live this out each and every day. This is a reminder to me to continue doing that whether I’m on or off the court.

I wanted to send you a few things I thought you’d like to let you know I’m thinking about you. I know you are a fighter and you are very strong. And I hope you know that you are not going through this alone… I know you have a whole team of people from everywhere supporting you. Not sure if you know this, but I wear these things called I PROMISE bands every time I step onto the court. They make me think of the PROMISES I have made to myself and others. Here’s one for you and me to share as we work with kids… I PROMISE TO NEVER GIVE UP.

Together we will change the world.

LeBron James

Doyel reports via Twitter that James also sent Duncan a care package that included a signed jersey, some shoes, promise bands and some Beats by Dre headphones.

Pretty thoughtful gesture, indeed.