Terminally ill former player attends Duke-UNC as ‘bucket list’ game

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Duke and North Carolina played another game in their storied rivalry last week. Although the two ACC juggernauts hold quite a long grudge against one another, the two programs teamed up to make something special happen for a terminal breast cancer patient.

Melanie Pearson Day, a 38-year-old mother of three, is battling stage IV terminal breast cancer. A former player at BYU, the native of Lehi, Utah was told by doctors that she has two to five years to live.

Day is battling cancer but she also remains a passionate basketball fan. Seeing the Duke and North Carolina rivalry up close was always Day’s priority as a basketball fan.

In a great story from Jeff Call of the Deseret News, Day received a special trip to be apart of one of the best rivalry in sports.

From Call’s story:

Day learned more than a month ago that she and her husband, Preston, would be checking off the No. 1 item on her bucket list by attending last Thursday’s basketball game between arch-rivals Duke and North Carolina at iconic Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Her weeklong experience in the Tar Heel State surpassed anything she could have imagined. For Day, it might have been the perfect week.

“I’ve dreamed of this for 25 years,” said Day, a former BYU women’s basketball player. “I grew up thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to go to this game someday?’ When I put it on my bucket list, on my blog, never did I actually think I’d get tickets to it. Then I got tickets and I went to the game, but it was so much more than that. It’s like a basketball fantasy.”

Not only did Day get see the Duke and North Carolina game from the third row behind the Duke bench but she also attended closed practices for both teams and spent time with both Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams.

Day’s dream trip is told in great detail in Call’s story and I highly recommend you check it out.