Sometimes the next Villanova TV spot just writes itself.
Just a little over a week removed from winning the National Championship, Villanova seniors Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu achesuld be deciding what sort of queue system they want to use for all well-wishers, notables, reporters, and other admirers lined up outside their rooms. But yesterday, they took more than just a few moments out of their victory lap to stop by the home – the basement, to be exact – of a Havertown boy who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Email from reader Andrew:
So this afternoon my sister Annie, her husband Andrew and my nephew Blaise got an unexpected visit from the two co-captains of the national championship winning Villanova Wildcats.
Here’s a backstory for context. So in February my nephew Blaise was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer especially in a 4 year old boy. He’s doing great has had 5 rounds of chemo and is scheduled for surgery in early May. So his mom and dad went to Villanova and are huge fans, as is Blaise. They were also interviewed on fox 29 during the parade. But since he is going to have surgery a family friend redid their basement so he would be able to have fun down there during the recovery period. Our family friend made a few calls and they set this whole thing up. I just wanted to say that both Arch and Chef were two of the nicest dudes ever. They talked and hung out with him and made him so happy it was truly amazing. I just wanted to help show the world that Villanova and especially Jay Wright have taught these dudes how to be amazing humans and that they are the national champs on and off the court.
And from reader Tom:
So the Davis family started a gofundme account “Beat It Blaise” after their 4 year old son was diagnosed with cancer. It raised over $35,000 and they wanted to put it towards their son so they decided to have their unfinished basement finished so he would always have somewhere to play with his 2 year old sister Lucy. 6 weeks ago the project was started and the builder told the family not to go downstairs until it was completely finished so it would be a surprise. Yesterday was the revealing of the basement and the mother Annie and the father Andrew thought the surprise was the new basement. It was. But little did they know Arci and Ochefu along with assistant coach Ashley Howard were there to surprise Blaise with the new play room for him also some great Nova gear and a basketball signed by every coach in the Big 5.
And from reader Dave:
Cool video of Daniel Ochefu and Archy surprising my nephew who has pediatric cancer. This playhouse was a surprise and his parents hadn’t been down the basement to see it until it was completed today. They are huge nova fans- the guy who finished their basement somehow got them to come surprise them!
The family sent videos and pictures, I added music. Watch as two National Champions make Blaise’s (and his family’s) day:
Now, once you’re able to wipe the tears away, here’s the link to Blaise’s Go Fun Me page. It’s already up to $36,000. Donate what you can.
UPDATE: Email from Blaise’s uncle Mark:
I know I’m repeating the other emails that came in but we cannot stress enough on how amazing Arch and Ochefu were with Blaise and everyone yesterday. Two class acts and great guys who you wouldn’t think just won a freaking national championship. They hung out for a good hour and made Blaise feel great.
Jay Wright is not all talk, when he says “I want you to be good men.” he means it and the proof was absolutely there yesterday in Ryan, Daniel, and Asst. Coach Ashley Howard.
Thank you again for the effort in putting the video together and letting all of Philly know that Villanova went above and beyond in making a four year old (and his family’s) day.
Great job all around here.