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The Happiest Blue Devil on the Planet

Last night, when I arrived home from a solid workout, I dug around my parents' mailbox and found a package. In the package was a DVD that had the words "For Gloria" written on it. Given the return address on the package (my classmate and Coach K's daughter, Jamie), I had a feeling that something incredibly awesome was in store for me.

I can't really describe how I felt as I watched the DVD, which was a personal message from Coach K to me, but it was more than happy, encouraged, or touched. It was pretty much a dream come true. Coach K told me that he'd spoken to the team about me, about my attitude as I faced this battle, and used my story to inspire them. 

Oh. My. God.

He went on to describe how, if I'm up to it, there's a place for me behind the bench at any home game this season.  

I'd WALK to Cameron Indoor Stadium RIGHT NOW for a seat behind the bench at a home game, but all I actually need to do is fly to Durham. I'm so there.

He went on to note that if we -- the team and me (we are a "we" now) -- are both successful, we'll all be in Houston for the Final Four in April. Yes, ladies and gents, my personal hero has promised me two tickets to watch my beloved Blue Devils win a National Championship this year. 


You know those moments when you're almost out of body because an experience is just so awesome that you can hardly believe it's happening to you? I've had a couple of these moments throughout my life -- when I got a call from my mom after school during my senior year in high school letting me know that I had been accepted at Duke, when I got the email upon returning to my Duke campus apartment after Winter Break that said that I had been accepted to Stanford Law School, when I walked down the aisle on my wedding day at Stanford's Memorial Church. This was another one of those moments. To know that Coach K and the team are thinking about me, supporting me, and wishing me well on my battle to beat down cancer is an incredible feeling. It fills my heart with joy and strengthens my resolve more than I can express. 

Incredible thanks to my Duke friends that made this happen. I'm going to go ahead and say that this was the best surprise ever.

And incredible thanks to Coach K for being an amazing person (as always). He has always inspired me but, today, he has inspired me even more. 

And I can't forget that shivering, fearful cancer. Hats off to you for playing a role in this magical moment. I'm still going to mercilessly kill you, though. My team is too strong.

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