Friday, February 20, 2009


Clemson guard Tanner Smith’s dad has cancer – and not just the regular kind (not that there is such a thing), but the kind with lots of complications and frequent hospital stays.

When Tanner was in the fourth grade he had an assignment “If I Had Three Wishes.” Easy enough, right?

Tanner started with a kid staple – a dog. Since he’d met a neighbor’s dog, he’d been bugging his parents for a puppy.

His second wish was to play professional basketball – again, no surprise for a kid who played football, baseball and basketball in his Alpharetta, GA community.

His final wish was a little tougher. Nine-year-old Tanner Smith wanted "To make kids with cancer laugh."

That Christmas a Golden Retriever arrived and this Christmas Tanner Smith found himself on Clemson’s basketball team.

But Smith wasn’t finished. Two years later as part of a sixth-grade project, Smith again said he wanted to help kids with cancer.

"I wanted to make sure my parents got the message," said Tanner.

So, the Smiths helped turned their son's dream into a reality. They created Tanner's Totes, a non-profit company which gives a tote bag of goodies to preteens and teenagers battling cancer and other long-term ailments.

In seven years the family has delivered more than 1,200 totes.

Read the whole story at ESPN…

(AP Photo by Mary Ann Chastain and

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