Boosted by Kentucky basketball stars, ailing teen helps others

Reese Kemp with John Wall - photo from
with John Wall – photo from

used to tell his mother that he wanted to die. He’d had enough of hospitals and surgeries and feeding tubes. He missed his father, who suffered a fatal heart attack when Reese was 5, and he just wanted to find him in heaven.

Reese’s mother, Shantelle Kemp, felt helpless, because what do you tell a boy with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening respiratory disease for which there is no cure?

She tried therapists. She tried hugs. She had no idea she needed University of basketball players.

Now, after forging some unlikely friendships — watching movies with and riding go-karts with and flying to to visit John Wall — over the past three years, Reese’s outlook has completely changed.

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