Commonwealth Journal

Local News

May 18, 2013

Former UK basketball star, local cancer patient form special bond


Somerset —

The parents were, admittedly, concerned about letting Kelly go somewhere with so many people.
“I knew they would take good care of Kelly, it wasn’t a question of that,” said Lisa. “We just didn’t know, with all those people, and his port is certainly very tender.”
The Meltons asked Kelly’s doctors about it, and they were given the go-ahead.
“They said ‘By all means, let Kelly do what he wants to do while he’s feeling good,” said Lisa.
One photo, showing the 6-foot, 10-inch tall Noel hoisting a masked and snappily-dressed Kelly over a puddle at the derby, has gone viral, and Kelly has been interviewed by a number of news outlets about his relationship with Noel.
“He had the time of his life that weekend,” said Lisa.
But Noel is only one figure in Kelly’s life right now.  Even though Kelly spent his seventh birthday and Christmas in the hospital, he had great company.
UK football players Christian Coleman (defensive tackle, junior), Jonathan George (running back, senior), Max Strong (kicker, freshman), Landon Foster (Punter, sophomore), Kelly Mason (long snapper, sophomore), Ashely Lowery (safety, junior) and Martavius Neloms (cornerback, senior, and now a rookie with the Detroit Lions) have reached out to Kelly a number of times over the past months.
“They still made trips over to see Kelly, which impressed me,” said Lisa.
The players have helped take Kelly’s mind off of the treatments – and the resulting pain and sickness – and the leukemia itself.
Neloms, before he began his stint with the Lions, even stopped by to brighten Kelly’s day after finding out the young boy was having a difficult time.
“(A family friend) sent him (Neloms) a text saying Kelly was having a bad day, and 10 minutes later he was in the room to pick Kelly’s spirits up,” said Lisa.

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