Thunder: Helping a Spurs fan celebrate a cancer triumph, realize a dream
Conner Davey got the best news in the world last week — he is cancer free for the first time in two years.
The second-best news came Monday night.
He’s going to the Spurs game.
You might remember Conner. I wrote about him last summer after the Spurs bounced the Thunder from the Western Conference Finals. You can read that column here, but here’s the short version.
Conner is a born-and-bred Oklahoman. He even played basketball as a kid growing up in tiny Goldsby, just south of Norman. But he’s never been a Thunder fan because his grandma made him into a Spurs fan long before the Thunder was even a glimmer in Oklahoma City’s eye.
But last summer, he found himself in a hospital bed in the transplant ward at Baylor Cancer Hospital while his Spurs had a run to remember. During his junior year at OU, Conner was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the fall in 2012. He beat it once, but then early in 2013, it returned, so doctors decided to try a stem cell transplant. It was a long and draining process, but long more than draining. Conner was bored with a capital B-O-R-E-D.
The Spurs’ playoff games were one of the bright spots in some otherwise very mundane days.
Lo and behold, the Spurs won the whole thing. Conner was over the moon.
But on the flip side, that stem cell transplant didn’t work like the doctors hoped. So a few months ago, Conner started chemotherapy and radiation again. This time, he went with a really aggressive plan, including proton radiation for six weeks.
He took his last treatment Feb. 6.
Last week, he had his first scan since — and the cancer was gone.
Conner sent me a text with the good news Monday morning, and he also told me how he was hoping to find tickets for Tuesday night’s Spurs game in Oklahoma City. He’s always dreamed of meeting Tim Duncan, the Spur who he’s most loved all these years.
Monday night, I got a ringside seat for this amazing email exchange:
Before I go any further, please let me introduce myself. My name is Matt Tumbleson, and I'm the Director of Basketball Communications for the Oklahoma City Thunder. I am reaching out to you about tomorrow's game against the San Antonio Spurs.
I've heard through Jenni Carlson with The Oklahoman that you are a big Spurs fan, and I wanted to see if you might be interested in attending tomorrow's game as our guest. No worries if you cheer for the Spurs, I started my career there, and they are certainly an admirable organization.
Conner’s reply came quickly:
Oh my goodness! Thank you so so much! I’ve been a Spurs fan since the Robinson days. I cannot thank you enough for the tickets! It has always been a dream to meet Tim Duncan, and honestly, watching the Spurs last Summer while going through my stem cell transplant is what really kept my spirits bright. If there is any way I can watch the pregame shoot around, I would absolutely love that.
Of course I’m pulling for the Spurs tomorrow, but I know how great it is for the city and the state of Oklahoma to be in the playoffs. I hope they lockup the 8th seed.
You made my year. Thank you!
Don’t be surprised if you see a twentysomething at The Peake on Tuesday night with a bald head, a Duncan jersey and a gigantic smile on his face. I’m smiling just thinking about how much fun Conner is going to have.
So, thank you, Matt, for helping Conner.
But thank you most to Conner for giving all of us a reason to smile.