Posted: Dec 28, 2012 9:19 PM by Tyler Garrett - email@example.com
Updated: Dec 28, 2012 11:02 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - For years I've said that's sports aren't just about winning and losing. There not just about a game or an athlete. Sports have the power to inspire; they have the power to motivate. And this afternoon sports helped one family desperately in need of an uplifting moment.
That moment was when we surprised 16-year old Tuloso-Midway student Chris Gelinas with a personal message from NBA Star Kobe Bryant. Chris if you didn't know, is battling a very rare form of cancer called Epitheliod Sarcoma, but no longer has any chance of beating it. Doctors have already stopped treatments and now are just trying to help make him comfortable. He's already lost his vision.
In his condition he can not travel, and he has days where he doesn't recognize his own family, so traveling to a game is out of the question.
We first learned of Chris's battle when hundreds of Tuloso-Midway students took to social media reaching out to Kobe Bryant. They enlisted our help and we were happy to do our part. One call to the Lakers on Christmas Eve, led to Kobe agreeing to send Chris a video message on Christmas Day. It was a message that our friends in Los Angeles taped for us Friday morning and we shared with Chris and his family later that afternoon.
This is what Kobe's message said, "Hey Chris its Kobe I am chilling right now at the practice facility as you can this is where the history is made. We have a lot of championship banners hanging here, and I wanna thank you for your support and what you continue to embody and your spirit is an inspiration for me, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Thank you so much."
Chris, who was having a rough day, cracked a small smile and said, "That's cool". He of course is heavily medicated; his family meanwhile spoke up saying that this simple gesture meant the world to them.
"It's so amazing that Kobe reached out to Chris we threw it out there and the community and everyone ran with it its just amazing," said Chris's sister Marlena Lopez.
"It's an overwhelming feeling but it's amazing to see everybody doing this for our brother. He was a great student and athlete and an inspiration to everyone like Kobe said," added his other sister Sierra Gelinas.
And as Sierra mentioned Kobe called Chris an inspiration, and that's exactly what he is. Whether he knows it or not, Chris has inspired an entire city. He has put life in perspective, and that's something his father continues to take pride in as he thanked everyone who helped make this possible.
"I think it's awesome he took time out of his personal life to send something to Chris. He has been a fan since birth practically and to have his guy send something personal to him meant a lot to us. Thanks to our friends and neighbors and his classmates, it's unbelievable he got a message in a week," he said.
Kobe went onto to say that its kids like Chris who make sports what they are today.
"As you get older you never thought you could have that impact on people. It adds a sense of a purpose to inspire other and I feel blessed to that it's a great feeling," said Bryant.
The Gelinas family also wanted Kobe to know that anytime he is in South Texas, he has a place to stay and a good home cooked meal waiting for him.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
To follow Chris's story on Twitter use this hash tag: #HelpGetKOBEToReachOutToChris
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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