Starr Fellow Sidney Kushner '13 Takes Celtics' Center Court

January 10, 2013

Watch the video here.

Last night, Sidney Kushner '13 took center court at the Boston Celtic's game with KJ, a 10-year old boy battling cancer, to be honored as a "Hero Among Us." Sidney founded the organization CCChampions, which develops one-on-one friendships between professional athletes and children with cancer, through the Starr Fellowship - now entering its fifth year providing support to student social entrepreneurs at Brown.

Sidney sent the following email to family, friends, and others in the CCChampions community following the game:

To ALL of you who made this night possible,


Tonight was one of the most inspiring nights in my entire 21 years. It would have been enough just to meet each one of you--but being honored as a "Hero Among Us" has meant so much more than that. 

Over the past three years, I've dedicated so much of myself fighting for these kids and building CCChampions. I remember walking up to center court and seeing everyone stand up and cheer for this once-crazy dream of mine--and, well...WOW. And then looking next to me and seeing KJ, a 10-year-old boy with cancer in our Friendships program, saluting the crowd at his first ever Celtic's game made that dream a reality.

I just wanted to share a story about what this night meant to me & KJ:

I found out today that this was only the second time since December 2011--thirteen months ago--that KJ was healthy enough to leave his home in Providence. It was just two days ago that his mother called me on the verge of tears because his white blood cell counts were next to zero. But the opportunity to go to his first ever Celtics game was one that KJ wouldn't pass up. His counts skyrocketed immediately, and as his mom said, "We all willed him to get healthier!" His parents said that tonight has made "a lifetime of memories for the whole family." For the first time in over a year, KJ was a normal kid again.

I guess that's the power of CCChampions. As you all know, we believe that athletes have the power to inspire boys & girls just like KJ to beat cancer and become some of the most inspiring champions on Earth. I just want to personally say thank you all of you for help making that dream possible.

I cannot wait to get to know all of you so much better over the next several months as we launch our brand-new chapter in Boston. I promise you this is only the very beginning!!