Hero In The Making: James Dawson


Kelsey Kroll
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate

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Eighteen-year-old James Dawson was all smiles Sunday night at Target Center as he was the Timberwolves’ special guest during their matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers.

As part of WolvesCare Month presented by C.H. Robinson Worldwide, the FastBreak Foundation has focused its attention on the Timberwolves’ toughest fans this month – children with life-threatening or long-term illnesses. James was Sunday’s “Hero in the Making.”

This past October, James’ life took a drastic turn when he and his family learned he had Glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. He has undergone two surgeries and is currently undergoing radiation and chemotherapy at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Despite the difficult sudden turn of events James has faced, the smile upon his face as he took the court could have fooled anyone. What really made the night special for him was the chance to share the night with those close to him.

“My family and friends are here with me and I’m really excited to be here,” James said. “I was kind of scared but I was very excited out there. I was smiling a lot and just had a lot of fun. Thank you, I just really thank you guys.”

Timberwolves President Chris Wright and C.H. Robinson Worldwide representative Jon Learn presented James with a jersey and an autographed team ball.

James returned to his suite after his on-court presentation to join his family and friends who anxiously awaited to get a look at his gifts.

“It was very exciting, especially for the boys,” James’ aunt Joan Anderson said. “It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime deal for them and James. Everyone has been really excited and once we got here it was even more exciting than we imagined.”

Anderson is confident James will not let this setback discourage him from being the strong young man he has always been.

“He’s very strong, mentally and physically,” she said. “He’s young and has always stayed in good shape but most of all he’s got a beautiful attitude and everyone believes that is what bringing him through – his attitude.”

His strength was seen following his second surgery. Typically, most people who have undergone the same surgery go into a slight coma and do not wake up for a few days. Not James. He woke up the very next day and had even the doctors in disbelief.

“He is positive; he is good hearted, generous, kind and just a great kid,” Anderson said. “I think the best thing about it is it’s a huge memory. We have a bunch of pictures and we’ll hold these memories in our hearts and this is the most important thing.

“The smile is gold.”


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