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Bid For A Ball And Make A Difference

Emma Marques is a five year old girl who is in a real bad spot, so be a mensch and bid.

A nice collector's item and a chance to help a kid in need - what could be better?
A nice collector's item and a chance to help a kid in need - what could be better?

One of the cooler things we've been able to do at DBR over the years is to help people when we can. It's really a good feeling to make a difference in someone's life. So when Brooks Rawlins contacted us about five-year-old Emma Marques, who is suffering from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas, we were happy to help.

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As it happens, Julio's cousin, John Johnson, got in touch earlier this summer and offered an item for auction and said we could do whatever we liked. What we'd like is to auction it for Emma.

It's a blue and white miniball which was won at auction by another relative who gave it to John. It's signed by the 1991 team and also then-governor Jim Martin.

It is not in flawless condition - it is 23 years old after all - but for Duke fans, what could be better? We remember being in the hotel lobby in Indianapolis and realizing how big-time things had gotten.

This is a chance to have a touchstone to that transformative moment as well as a chance to help a kid. Here's part of Brooks's e-mail telling us about Emma and why he and his family want to help her:

JD, thanks so much for responding. As I mentioned via Twitter, I am a Duke alum (class of '98) and I have been a daily DBR follower for probably 15 years now. When this situation arose, you guys were one of my first thoughts.

Emma Marques is my daughter Paisley's best friend, and at 5 years old she has been diagnosed with DIPG, a rare form of childhood brain cancer. The parents have so much on their plate that my wife and I have been trying to lead the charge with fundraising so they can focus on Emma and their son Anthony. We are throwing a fundraiser in Orlando on September 26th at Dewey's Indoor Golf to raise money for expenses related to clinical trials and treatments (the travel expenses alone to & from Sloan Kettering & St. Jude's have been a huge burden for them).

There are literally new discoveries in treatment and understanding of the disease every April they learned that there are 3 sub-types of the cancer, making it easier going forward to target specialized treatments for each one. But we need to keep the fight going and buy Emma more time to get to the new treatments.

We are fighting to save this little girl's life, and we need help to do it. She has been an inspiration to all of us with her courage, her strength, and her positive attitude. If we can help raise funds through donations, and perhaps get some Duke memorabilia quickly for the silent auction at the fundraiser, it would be a HUGE help. I was hoping you guys would be willing to make some noise about it on DBR and hopefully we can show the family what Dukies do when called to action!

Here are the sites we have up right now: