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Carlos Boozer - Fearless Love



Regardless of your feelings towards Carlos Boozer the basketball player, his family's struggle with Carmani's sickle-cell anemia is nothing short of inspirational.  From the article,

On game nights, a world away, Carlos lost himself in the national anthem. He stood in his warm-ups, in a line with his teammates along the Jazz bench, and closed his eyes as the music played. He pictured himself back home with Carmani and CeCe. He could sometimes see Carmani's face, the little smile that seemed to say he knew everything was gonna be OK. He asked God to watch over them. He steeled himself for the game to come and found his focus in dedicating to his son what he would do on the floor that night.

Boozer had been drafted in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft, the 35th overall pick, behind lesser talents such as Melvin Ely, Chris Wilcox, Nené Hilario and Drew Gooden. He kept those names, first on a piece of paper in his wallet and later in his head. Every game was a chance to prove he was better than they were, to prove the teams who had drafted those players ahead of him had underestimated his will. He tapped now into that same place in taking on sickle cell: Play all-out for Carmani; play to prove the disease couldn't beat them.

The phone calls were bad, full of long silences and frustrated outbursts. CeCe felt overwhelmed. Carlos felt powerless. You want to believe adversity will bring you together. You want to believe your love is enough to cross the distance between you. But the truth is the disease seeps into every little crack and drives a wedge. He couldn't fully appreciate all she had learned at the doctor's office. She couldn't find comfort in how much he wished he could be there. Every time they saw each other, it felt as they were starting from scratch, as if they barely knew each other. And whenever he went away, it took everything she had to stay in touch at all.

She wondered whether it was worth it, to be with someone when you were 3,000 miles apart. The disease, the worry, the work of finding some solution for Carmani, the effort to carry the twins drove her inward. Some friends stopped calling because they didn't know what to say. Others advised against what she was doing because they thought the risk she was taking, when Carmani wasn't really, truly sick yet, was too great. And they could have been right. There were no guarantees. The disease could come on strong soon. It could hang back and let Carmani grow for a while. But eventually it would strike. She had seen it. She knew it was no way to live. And in knowing that, she was alone, the only one who believed what she believed, the only one she could count on.

It's a lengthy article, but well worth the read.  It will also be on tonight at 7 PM as part of ESPN's E60 series.  Below is an excerpt,

UPDATE:  Here's the full video now.