So far, so good. Pat's hair is gone, but his hope is flourishing. And so are his healthy blood cells. The fastest anybody has ever been released from Florida Hospital after a stem cell transplant is 14 days. Pat was out in 10.
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Not only was he out in 10 days, he went straight from the hospital to give a speech about leadership to local Boy Scouts. That's Pat. Always doing something to motivate or inspire. Even when you call up his voicemail, he'll always end the pre-recorded message with some sort of philosophical quote. "Leave a message," he'll say, "and remember this statement from Erma Bombeck: 'Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are always lonely.' "
A profound quote from the late Ms. Bombeck — but blatantly untrue. Pat Williams has been a dreamer his entire life and he is the most unlonely person I know. He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children — 14 of whom were adopted from four different countries. He has the love of his wife, his kids, his grandkids, his Magic family and, yes, his God. He has the respect and support of a team, a town and an entire sport.
This weekend, Pat will be honored at an Athletes in Action Breakfast, an NBA Legends Brunch and then given the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Understandably, Dwight Howard and his trade request to leave Orlando will be the major story line over the next few days.
But let's not ever forget why Dwight and the Magic are even Orlando to begin with.
It's because this man believed in us.
Pat Williams will forever be the Magic's ultimate All-Star.
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