The public got their first glimpse of the 2014/15 Cavaliers this past Wednesday, and the evening did not disappoint. From highlight-reel dunks to a first look at the all-new court at Quicken Loans Arena, Cavs fans got an exclusive peak at what’s to come this season. Of all the spectacles, the one person that stole the show was also one that touched our hearts.
Jackie Custer is a 16-year-old teenager from the city of Masillon, Ohio which is about 50 miles outside of Cleveland and only 20 miles from Akron. Before Wednesday night, Jackie Custer had already gained a significant amount of fame and recognition in the social media world. Jackie suffers from Leukemia, a form of cancer, and has handled it about as well as anyone could possibly do so. Despite her condition, Jackie selflessly donated all 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love at the Akron Children’s Hospital in the hopes of having someone else enjoy the hair she would surely lose to leukemia treatment.
After Wednesday night’s scrimmage, Custer and 17 other deserving fans were chosen to come down to the court for a special meet-and-greet with a Cavaliers player. An avid Cavaliers fan and basketball player herself, Jackie was treated to a meeting with none other than the King himself. The hug she shared with LeBron was something special, as a world-class athlete and a world-class heroine forged a distinct, Northeast Ohio-born bond.
LeBron shared a few moments with Jackie and even presented her with his game-worn jersey, which is captured in a video on the Cavaliers official Instagram page here:
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Her positivity and courage in the face of such a severe illness is both a testament to her personal strength and the strength of the human will. In the beginning, Jackie and her warrior spirit began by motivating the Jackson Lady Bears, her high school basketball team, and soon spread to others via social media. After Wednesday’s Wine and Gold scrimmage both the Cavaliers and the rest of the world learned of Jackie and her unforgettable courage. Her message is the kind that just keeps on growing, inspiring millions to believe that where there is a will there is a way. Jackie and her strength have undoubtedly left an imprint on LeBron and the Cavaliers. She has certainly contributed to the will of the Cavs; all that’s left now is the way.