Carroll has been dealing with a rare liver disease since his senior year at Missouri. He told NetsDaily he thought his life was over, but his father, a preacher, told him to “Cherish his life, cherish the opportunity [he has] and be a blessing for others.”
Sammy Kass shouts, “That’s me!” as he spots a welcome sign on the Brooklyn Nets big screen with his picture. It was the beginning of an unforgettable night.
Sammy is a six-year-old pediatric liver transplant survivor. October is Liver Awareness month and DeMarre Carroll took the initiative to invite Sammy, his sister, and his mother Dara, who was also his organ donor, to his first ever Nets game.
And that’s what he’s doing.
Carroll played through the liver disease at Mizzou taking medication, keeping track of his diet. He was drafted in the first round by the Grizzlies, beating the diagnosis and the despair. It’s why he’s now become an influential leader not just in Brooklyn’s locker room, but in the fight against a debilitating disease.
Although Carroll has been sidelined due to arthroscopic ankle surgery, he still spent time with Sammy at the game and made sure they had a good night. He spent quality time with his family too. Sammy was appropriately dressed in a superhero Halloween costume. He and his sister got a swag bag and participated in the Nets “High 5 Line.”
Carroll is passionate about supporting adolescents suffering from pediatric liver disease and disorders. Carroll and his foundation always emphasized awareness about pediatric liver disease and help survivors lead fulfilling, sustainable lives.
“I focus on Pediatrics because kids got a lot of life left in them. You can become an NBA player, you can become an NFL player, you can be whatever you want to be,” Carroll told NetsDaily at his Liver Awareness event last year.
He may be missing on the court this season, but he’s not missing in the fight.
And so, In his first game ever, thanks to his buddy DeMarre, Sammy got to witness a 120-119 Nets victory over the the Detroit Pistons in overtime, no less. It wasn’t just a special night because the Nets won. It was special because somebody like Sammy Kass could enjoy his night, in his Halloween costume, dressed as a metaphor to what he is.