Carmelo Anthony spread holiday cheer to a family in need this Christmas by donating a car to 17-year-old Jarell Lara and his family.
Jarell, who suffers from a rare form of cancer called Langerhans cell histiocytosis, completed 18 months of chemotherapy earlier this year. Jarell’s family moved from Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan to the South Bronx in order to cover his medical expenses.
According to ESPN, Jarell’s mother Anne Lara left her job to care for her son, while Fernando Lara, Jarell’s father, quit his minimum wage job to work in construction. Jarell told reporters, “I thought someone was punking me. It hasn’t sunk in. It’s a blessing from God. There are so many people [that] Carmelo Anthony can help, and he chose to help me. It’s the greatest Christmas you could ask for.”
The New York Knick met Jarell about a year ago through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and recently took the family on a holiday shopping spree. Through the Carmelo Anthony Foundation, Kia, and the Garden of Dreams Foundation, Anthony was able to provide a car for the Laras.
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“This is bigger than sport, bigger than basketball. Two wonderful foundations coming together, making a family happy, making a dream come true. Giving them a day of happiness,” Anthony said. “The family, as you can see, the mom is still crying. It is a bit of a surprise. They had no idea it was coming, and I am happy that I was able to kind of make this happen.”
You can watch Anthony surprise the Laras in the video below.