After an upstart social media campaign under the hashtag #KylesWish, Kyle Osborne, a 19-year-old with a terminal cancer diagnosis, had his dream of meeting LeBron James come true during the Eastern Conference finals.
#KylesWish was organized by Laura Onorato, an Albuquerque physician assistant who heard about Osborne's goal from friends, according to Marissa Lucero of KRQE News 13.
Osborne was diagnosed with an extremely rare variant of a cancer called myxopapillary ependymoma in April 2016. Tumors in his brain and spinal cord came back within five months despite radiation treatment and surgery, according to Joline Gutierrez Krueger of the Albuquerque Journal. He's now paralyzed from the waist down, and it's too dangerous for doctors to operate further.
After he was given five months to live in November, Osborne's family approached the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which couldn't help because he was 19. Make-A-Wish Foundation gifts are available only to children between 2 and 18 years old.
Onorato started an online campaign to help him, which she described to Lucero as "a tweet and a prayer."
The Cleveland chapter of A Special Wish Foundation, which works with youth under 21 who have life-threatening illnesses, got wind of the story after Onorato's campaign made KRQE news in April and decided to help, even though it normally only serves youth from Ohio, Gutierrez reports.
Thanks to a donation of frequent-flier miles, Osborne, his father, and his sister flew from New Mexico to Cleveland for Game 3, where the Cavaliers gave them box seats and time on the floor. They got to meet The King - as well as Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal.
A stadium employee also let Osborne try on one of the Cavaliers' 2016 NBA championship rings.
Osborne summed up the experience succinctly and accurately to Lucero, calling it "just amazing."