Heart-wrenching video: NBA player talks about passing of 6-year-old cancer patient he befriended

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WASHINGTON — There may be some athletes whose time with cancer patients at hospitals is only fleeting, only for a moment.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall is not one of those athletes.

Wall broke down during a post-game interview as he talked about a 6-year-old cancer patient he befriended that died Monday morning.

Wall met the girl — Telemaque-Nelson — last March, five months after she was diagnosed with Lymphoma, ESPN reports. During their friendship, he often wrote her name on his shoes before games, and talked with her frequently.

The NBA guard did well Monday, scoring 26 points with 7 rebounds and 17 assists in a 133-132 double overtime win over the Boston Celtics.

After the game, he tweeted about his lost friend.


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  • ted_d_bear76

    Hey John,

    While it is natural for us to grieve the loss of a child, even children who may not be ours, it takes a lot of strength and character to grieve openly like that. That’s especially true for those in sports where having a reputation for toughness is desired. You are a reminder of two important things-
    1) Athletes, even paid ones, are professionals too.
    2) Mourning in public and being sensitive to others is not a weakness, but an incredibly important strength. Vulnerability is an important reminder that it is okay to love.

    My heart and prayers go out to the family of that little girl, as well as everyone she touched by her determination and her smile. May you all carry that piece of her wherever you go. God bless.

  • William wright

    John Wall you are an inspiration and example… An education for all… “Those who educate children are most to be honored than they who produce them; for these only give them life, those the art of living well”… Aristotle…

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