‘Tis the season.
Just ahead of the Christmas Day Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, the team’s star baller granted special wish to a Bronx teen battling cancer.
Carmelo Anthony partnered with Garden of Dreams Foundation to gift a brand new Kia Sorento to 17-year-old Jarrell Lara and his parents, Anne and Fernando.
“This is the best Christmas I’ve ever had,” Jarell said, who just won his battle against his rare form of cancer, Langerhans cell histiocytosis, after an 18-month chemotherapy session that put the cancer in remission. “I’m going to go home and re-watch everything from today, and sit in the car.”
“He came over and told us he had something for us, and we thought it was a t-shirt or an autograph,” Anne said. “And we went back and it was a car. I broke down and started to cry.”
A few days before the gift was given, the family was treated to a $2,000 shopping spree on behalf of the foundation. Anthony showed up and invited the Lara’s to the game.
“To see the expressions on their face and the mom crying. One of the kids wanted to cry, but he held it in. That’s what it’s all about, the Christmas spirit,” Anthony said.
“I don’t think you can put that into words,” he said. “To see the expressions on their face and the mom crying.
While, Jarell went through the battle, his family made sacrifices to care for him. His mother quit her job to care for her son and the family had to uproot from Washington Heights to a less expensive place in the Bronx. However, Jarell was still overwhelmed with gratitude at the thoughtful gift.
“It’s a blessing because so many other people have had it worse than me,” he went on. “But for me to get picked is very nice. Especially for him to go out of his way and get a car for me and my family — just amazing.”