ELK GROVE, Calif. - A 10-year-old Warriors fan from Elk Grove who is recovering from rare knee surgery enjoyed Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs after the Dubs gave him and his family free tickets.
The Warriors beating the Trail Blazers on Sunday had an extra-special meaning for Chris Formaker, a young fan who has already overcome a life-time of struggle.
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Before the big game, he and his family got VIP treatment by getting a chance to get an up close and personal view of the Warriors warming up.
The last time Formaker was this close to his favorite player, Steph Curry, he had both of his legs. Formaker was diagnosed with bone cancer a few years ago and recently underwent surgery in which his femur was removed, with a surgical procedure called rotation plasty. His foot had to be rotated and re-attached to what's left of his upper leg. "It acts totally as the knee. The amazing thing is the muscles of the calf, which then become the front muscles of the thigh are more or less in tune at working at the right time, they have to adapt a little bit," Lawrence Rinsky, M.D., with Stanford Children's Health said.
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When he arrived at Oracle Arena, he was quickly escorted through the crowds and down to the court. Formaker's prosthetic leg works very well with his re-attached and rotated foot.
Watching Curry warm up before the game was spectacular, even though he had already met his favorite player a couple years ago. "I went to a practice in 2015 for the Warriors and Stephen Curry gave me his jersey he had worn to the practice," Formaker said.
This was a special treat for the whole family because they've never been court side. "On top of that, how wonderful the Warriors have been to our family while we were going through a difficult time, it's a happy day to be here," Chris' father Jesse Formaker said.