Kings guard De’Aaron Fox honors mother with Breast Cancer Awareness event
Women and their families will head to clinic at Golden 1 Center on Mother’s Day weekend to learn about breast cancer, treatment and basketball
Lorraine Harris-Fox felt a lump in her breast one day. After monitoring the lump for a week, she had it checked out. A biopsy showed it was cancerous.
Harris-Fox was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2000. Three years earlier, her sister had died from breast cancer, leaving a 5-year-old son. Harris-Fox and her husband, Aaron, adopted her nephew, and when she found out she had cancer, their son, De’Aaron Fox, was 2 years old.
“My first initial thoughts when I was diagnosed was that I have to do everything I can to fight this because my nephew has already lost one mom from this battle,’ ” Harris-Fox said. “The initial feeling was fear, when you get the call from your doctor confirming that you have breast cancer. For me, it was fear and scared and crying, and then a couple of minutes after that was when I started the process of what do I do next. Cause I gotta fight so I can be here for these two boys.”
Harris-Fox underwent surgery, four rounds of chemotherapy every three weeks and 40 rounds of radiation. Regular maintenance, blood work and scans followed the initial six-month treatment. She has been cancer-free for the past 18 years.
De’Aaron Fox, the Sacramento Kings point guard, surprised his mother on draft night last June when he wore a suit jacket lined with the Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbon. It was a show of support for his mother’s fight.
“I didn’t know much about it at a younger age, but as I was growing up – fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh grade – we would always do walks and stuff like that,” Fox said. “That’s kind of how I got into it, just knowing that she had it … and that my mom fought through that, and seeing all the lives that are lost from breast cancer, made me feel stronger about that.”
Fox and his mother are hosting a Jr. Kings clinic on Saturday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, to raise breast cancer awareness. Women, many of whom have overcome breast cancer, and their families will receive basketball lessons during the Mother’s Day weekend event. Activities will end with a kids-versus-moms showdown.
Harris-Fox is coming from Katy, Texas, and even though she has a fracture in her knee that will sideline her from the game, that wasn’t going to stop her from attending.
Fox, who scored 40 points on Mother’s Day playing AAU basketball in high school, ranks this at the top of what he’s done for his mother. Fox teased that since injured Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward was able to shoot basketballs from a chair, he expected Harris-Fox to do something along those lines.
Fox wants everyone to have fun going through drills and for the kids to walk away with a better understanding of what their mothers or loved ones are going through.
“My role is basically another voice saying that ‘I’m still in the fight. I’m an 18-year survivor,’ ” Harris-Fox said, “and just kind of telling my story so maybe newly diagnosed women see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence. Early detection is important, and so if you do the early detection and you get your treatment early, you have a 95 percent success rate. Women need to know that.”
Harris-Fox had help from friends and church members who took her to treatments, assisted around the house or did whatever they could to contribute. Her husband would help with the kids, take her to the hospital and handle whatever other tasks were needed.
Right around the time Harris-Fox told her son what she had been through, she started hosting pink parties every October besides participating in Susan G. Komen walks. And while she was more than happy to have her son accompany her on the walks, she told him and everyone else in her house to get to steppin’ when she threw the parties for herself and her friends.
“My thing was, ‘This is for me and my friends, so I’m-a need for y’all to find somewhere else to be,’ ” Harris-Fox said as she laughed. “A couple times when I guess they didn’t have anywhere else to go, they would stay. They would come down and mingle with the party and then go back upstairs and play his video games. This was my time. I need for Dad to find somewhere else to be. I need you children to find somewhere else to be.”