Posted at: 03/22/2013 3:50 PM
Updated at: 03/22/2013 5:59 PM
By: Robin De Wind
The annual Ronald McDonald House All-Star Basketball Game tip off this weekend. It's a chance for Section V all stars to suit up one last time and raise money for children and families in our community. But this game means just a little more for one player.
The Ronald McDonald house is a place where families dealing with serious illness can stay, to be closer to their sick child during treatment. It was home for 13 months one teen playing in this weekend's game.
In a way, it's like coming home again for Jim and Matt Insley of Wellsville.
Jim Insley, father, said, “We knew we were in the for a long road, they let us know we wouldn't be going home very much.”
Matt Insley, Wellsville senior, said, “He was sure about everything he did when we were here we spent time together.”
Matt was just four and a half was his little brother, Bryce, was diagnosed with a deadly form of leukemia at 18 months. The Insleys are from Wellsville, so commuting to Golisano Children's Hospital was out of the question. For 13 months, the Insleys lived at the Ronald McDonald House.
Jim said, “The house allowed us to be a family under every circumstance, every holiday, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving.”
Matt said, “I loved being here. There were videos and puzzles. We spent so much time just being brothers.”
Matt is now a senior and earned the privilege of playing in this weekend's Ronald McDonald House All-Star Game. Matt joined the other seniors across Section V who toured the house and met the families impacted by the money raised.
Matt said, “It was humbling to be here and the game to know it helps to sponsor everything everyone was exciting, it was relieving to see everything.”
Matt takes the court this weekend, doing something he loves in honor of someone he loves.
Matt said, “There are days that it is hard. I did lose a brother and the shirt reminds me that he's here in my heart looking down on me every day and he's still here. To be able to say I can play in the Ronald McDonald House game is great, it means a lot.”
The Ronald McDonald All-Star Game double header gets underway at Gates Chili High School. The girls tip off at 1:00p.m. and the boys' game follows at 3:00p.m. This annual game for the past 26 years has raised more than $200,000.