A Georgia high school football player warmed the hearts of many people after taking his date to the prom hours after learning about his cancer diagnosis.
Those touched by his selflessness included one of his sports heroes.
Recently retired NBA star Dwyane Wade sent 16-year-old Chase McDaniel a care package this week to show his support for the teenager, Channel 2 Action News reported.
McDaniel, who found out he has Stage 3 lymphoma on the morning of his prom April 20, told Channel 2 he was at a loss for words after receiving the package from the three-time NBA champion.
“I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. You’re the GOAT (greatest of all time),” McDaniel said.
After his diagnosis, McDaniel’s thoughts turned to his date, Jaida, who he said was looking forward to the prom. He didn’t want to let her down.
“She was so excited about it,” McDaniel said. “(She was) talking about it, everything we were gonna do, places we were gonna go and pictures we were gonna take.”
Wade sent the teen a few things to hang up next to his prom suit, including several items from his clothing line, a pair of autographed shoes and a message that said, “My belief is stronger than your doubt.”
Carrollton High School football coach Sean Calhoun posted a video of McDaniel opening the care package to Twitter, which Wade shared.
McDaniel, a linebacker, said thoughts of becoming a starter next season are propelling him through his treatment. He underwent a 10-day stay at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston for chemotherapy. His hospital room was decked out with his jerseys.
Wade’s message is just another reason for him to keep fighting.
“I try not to think into the future. I’m trying to think right now,” McDaniel told the news station. “I don’t feel like it’s going to slow me down. In the fall, I’ll be back to myself.”
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