CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Sam Harmon is an upbeat, talkative 8-year-old from Charlotte. He has a passion for sports, and loves basketball. He also lives with some serious medical conditions. Sam was born with bacterial meningitis and spent the first month of life in NICU. He has a shunt in his brain to help with swelling, but it has malfunctioned several times, resulting in multiple surgeries.
A few years ago, he started having seizures and now lives with epilepsy. But just last week, Sam had the dream of his life come true. He forgot his sickness for a few days when Dream On 3 surprised him and his family with a VIP trip to see his favorite team… The Boston Celtics.
"We're here to tell you tonight, that you're getting on a plane tomorrow…” the minute Dream On 3 co-founder Elizabeth Lindsey said that, Sam started running around the room. His personality shooting through the room, lighting up everyone who saw him react.
It was a 5-day trip to Boston – longer than some other dreams this charity bestows upon deserving kids – and immediately upon arriving, instead of going courtside, Sam took a detour to the rink. Dream On 3 -- the Charlotte-based charity sending Sam, his dad Chris Harmon, and his mom Erikah Cashman on this VIP trip -- threw in an extra sports game -- and extra fist bumps --- by first watching some Bruins hockey.
Lots of players came by afterwards to meet Sam and welcome him to what they call the best sports city in the world. “Awesome Samuel, thank you for coming,” said one Bruins player. “Hope you have fun meeting the Celtics. Hope you have fun. Tell them we said, ‘Hi!’”
Sam and his dad Chris Harmon, and mom Erikah Cashman, also got to head to OYO Sports – a place that makes Lego-like buildable mini-figures, where a Red Sox player was personally made just for Sam.
After that, it was time for the main team. A few Celtics players showed off muscles and Sam’s favorite player, Jayson Tatum, signed a jersey and hung out for awhile. Sam and his dad even got to shoot some baskets on practice court.
Later that night, Sam and his dad went to TD Garden to see the real Celtics game, getting to hang out smack in the middle of all the excitement.
“This is thrilling for our whole family,” dad Chris said. “It’s just an amazing charity and truly incredible long weekend. Thank you all so much.” We also want to point out, Sam’s epilepsy is giving him lots of seizures right now. Most happen at night, when he’s sleeping. That means his parents have to remain on high alert around the clock. This trip was a welcome break from reality for all of them.
You can find more exclusive Dream On 3 stories making sports dreams come true for kids in our area on www.wbtv.com-slash-dream-on-3. Anchor Molly Grantham says she’s a proud volunteer for the charity and honored to be the person who gets to tell these stories through WBTV.