Tricounty News

Timberwolves 'Hero in the Making'

Kate Stewart-James was unlucky to learn she had leukemia when she was 12 years old. She was lucky to have the support of not just her friends and family, but her entire basketball team. Kate, who is now 14 and from Kimball, has undergone extensive chemotherapy treatments and endured several spinal taps since being diagnosed with leukemia, but she's battled through her illness to be the FastBreak Foundation's Hero in the Making for Jan. 30, when the Minnesota Timberwolves faced the Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center. The eighth-grade girls' basketball team she plays on, the Kimball Cubs, the same team that's been together since fifth grade, joined Kate in a suite at the Wolves-Lakers game. They also watched the two teams courtside, as they went through pre-game workouts. The support of her team has been crucial for Kate's struggle against cancer. "They just supported me and kept me going with basketball, helping me practice and everything, catch up with what I missed," she said before the game. They even visited her in the hospital and Ronald McDonald House during her treatments. Kate is a big Wolves fan. Kate has the incredible ability to see past her struggles and appreciate the love and support of those around her. "It feels like, even though things get rough, I get good out of it and everything, so it's not all bad," she said. "There's hard times and it gets tough, but you get something out of it and experiences that others will never even know." Throughout January, the Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation and HopeKids, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids with chronic illnesses, honored some of the Wolves' youngest and most courageous fans. WolvesCare Month featured Heroes in the Making, which highlights several local children battling terminal or chronic illness. These brave children were presented with a personalized jersey and an autographed team basketball during the second quarter of every Timberwolves home game during January. The Timberwolves started off WolvesCare Month with a $10,000 grant donation to HopeKids.