Darko Lends a Helping Hand


Darko Lends a Helping Hand



Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Known as a gifted passer for a 7-footer, Darko Milicic provided his greatest assist off the court by helping save the lives of four Serbian children suffering from the fatal Batten Disease.

Last summer, Milicic was alerted of the dire situation in his place of birth after reading a Serbian newspaper article detailing the issue. In rapid fashion, the Wolves center and his wife, Zorana paid for the children to travel to China and receive the necessary medical treatments, hopefully improving chances for survival.

According to the official site, Batten Disease is the most common form of a group of disorders called Neuronal Creoid Lipofuscinoses. The disease affects children and leads to mental impairment, seizures, loss of sight and motor skills.

The tremendous gesture by Milicic was the first step towards a long-term plan to generate money for the less fortunate. In March 2011, the Zorana and Darko Milicic Fund for Children with Life Threatening Diseases was established.

Milicic recently offered up his 2004 Detroit Pistons NBA Championship ring, a 2004 Pistons Championship "wrestling style" belt, tickets to a 2011 NBA Finals game, two night hotel accommodations in NBA Final game host city, $500 allowance for means, ground transportation and other expenses, and a signed Milicic jersey. For only $2, fans can purchase up to five tickets and enter the raffle, which awards a grand prize winner on May 26. Visit this site for more information and entrance details.

"Whatever money [I raise] is going to be good because those treatments cost a lot and those people can't afford it," Milicic addded.

All proceeds from the raffle will be allocated to hospitals and organizations addressing life threatening childhood diseases such as the Batten Disease Support and Research Association.

As new parents, the Milicic family is dedicated to raising money and awareness for this fatal disease that impairs youth around the world. In fact, on Wednesday, April 13, Darko will host 22 members of the Minnesota chapter of the Batten Disease Support and Research Association in a Wolves suite for the season finale at the Target Center.
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