A young basketball player who was a standout at Marian Catholic High School and Bowling Green University has been forced to take a break from the game after medical diagnosis.
Jasmine "Jazz" Matthews, of Matteson, had played four seasons of college basketball, but a quick on-set of multiple sclerosis stopped her life on the court.
"Once I got to my hospital bed there was no walking. There was no getting up to use the bathroom, there was none of that. I just lost it all in that moment," said Matthews who was finishing up her graduate degree in 2017 when she got the diagnosis.
Now, Matthews needs a $125,000 stem cell transplant which is not covered by insurance. She set up a GoFundMe page and quickly raised more than half of what she needed. Monday afternoon, nearly $70,000 had been donated.
"We're almost at $70,000 so my only hope is that it keeps going," Matthews said.
"The generosity is overwhelming. Even when we look at it we think, 'Wow, people really love her,'" said mom Genelle Matthews.
Even with the transplant, her fight is far from over. Jasmine is using her basketball roots to motivate her.
"I know that since I am so competitive that I want to get better. I'm not OK with being stuck in this wheelchair. I want to get better," she said. "We take these small victories and we turn them into miracles. So that's what we're hoping to do."
Basketball has been part of Jasmine Matthews' life since she was a child watching Michael Jordan win championships and playing hoops in the driveway with her dad. She took that passion to Marian Catholic.
"I knew that there was like a huge tradition with Marian. I grew up being in 6th and 7th grade going to the games and thought, 'Wow, that's something that I want to be,' Turns out I get to be it. I get to be that awesome player that kids look up to," Matthews recalled.
Click here to donate to Jazz Matthews' GoFundMe.
Basketball player diagnosed with multiple sclerosis raises money for stem cell transplant