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Basketball night puts spotlight on a little boy’s courageous battle

By Jayvon Lake [1]

BELLEVILLE – The George Brown Huskies and Loyalist Lancers basketball teams joined forces on Nov. 28 in the Lancerdome for a great cause: nine-year-old cancer patient Thomas Martin.

Thomas lives in Belleville with his mother and father. He has a rare form of brain cancer called gliomatosis cerebri that was diagnosed this past June.

The Martin family has to make frequent trips to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children for treatment. The event held at Loyalist Nov. 28 was put together to help raise money for their expenses.

As part of the evening, the Loyalist athletic department held a spaghetti dinner and sold T-shirts bearing Together We are Stronger and Team Thomas slogans to raise money.

At the halftime of the women’s basketball game, Thomas was introduced. A “Let’s Go Thomas” chant erupted from the crowd as he walked to the middle of the basketball court with his favourite superhero, Captain America. The captains of the men’s and women’s team gave Thomas gifts, and the combined teams took to mid-court in their brightly coloured Together We Are Stronger T-shirts for a group picture.

The big event of the night was when Loyalist men’s volleyball captain Adam Strickland sat at centre court so that Thomas could shave off his full head of hair. Strickland hadn’t had his hair cut in a year and wanted to use this as a helpful promotion. Thomas did a good job of getting it started, shaving half of Strickland’s head before a hairstylist took over.

Along with getting to see two exciting basketball games, fans were able to meet and hear the story of a boy who continues to fight every day.