As one of several NBA players who serve as Hoops for St. Jude ambassadors, Pau Gasol has made a continuous effort throughout his career to be there for those in children’s hospitals, both the patients and their families.
While Gasol makes a point of being there for those who aren’t feeling well, he has also been fortunate to celebrate good health with those who have previously faced adversities.
This past Friday, Gasol welcomed Sierra Josephsen, a three-time cancer survivor, to the United Center as his Bulls hosted the Detroit Pistons.
Josephsen and her family were at the game as part of a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital initiative. They sat courtside as the Bulls warmed up and met several of the team’s players as they ran on and off the floor.
Josephsen was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children, at age three. According to St. Jude, her treatment following her final diagnosis was so successful it is now used for the Wilms’ tumor protocol. Now a junior at Stephenson High School, Josephsen hopes to become a pediatric oncologist to help children fighting cancer.
“Last night I met a very special girl before our game,” said Gasol on his Instagram account Saturday. “Sierra Josephsen is a 3-time cancer survivor. What an incredible inspiration for all of us!”
Gasol has worked with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital dating back to his playing days with the Memphis Grizzlies. The past few seasons, formerly as a member of the Lakers and now the Bulls, he has visited St. Jude in Memphis with his brother Marc, an All-Star for the Grizzlies.