Generous couple auctions Warriors playoff tickets to benefit Martinez girl's cancer treatment
MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU) - Warriors playoff tickets are available on different sites, but there are two seats, aimed at helping a four-year-old warrior.
Their sale will raise money for Melody Massuk of Martinez, who is battling brain cancer.
"Something just grabbed my heartstrings," season ticket holder Renato Del Nevo told KTVU, about why he's auctioning the tickets to help a family he'd never met.
"I would hate to be in that situation. We have kids, and I have a grandchild, so what could we do to help?"
Del Nevo saw a story about Melody's plight on KTVU two weeks ago, and suggested to his wife that they sell a pair of their playoff tickets.
"How can you not?" Iris Del Nevo enthused, at their Pleasanton home Wednesday. "I work in the health care profession, so it was just my heart going out and any help is wonderful that we can give."
Melody was diagnosed in January with an inoperable tumor in her brainstem, a cancer called DIPG that is rare but almost exclusive to children, and fatal within a year.
She has undergone radiation and is awaiting word of her acceptance to a clinical trial in England, where doctors are injecting her type of tumor directly. It is unproven but promising, and currently unavailable in the U.S.
"She woke up the other day and she was pretty wobbly, when she tried to stand up she fell down," described mother Melissa Sullivan, of Melody's decline.
The Del Nevos had the Warriors send the Massuks a gift box with team memorabilia, and a card expressing best wishes. But it's the tickets, first game of the second round, that they hope will raise a good sum to help with Melody's travel and treatment costs in England.
The seats are listed on Ebay, at a starting bid of $1,000 for the pair.
Whatever they sell for will go to Melody's "Gofundme" account, currently just under $90,000.
"Hopefully, this will help the life of a child, " said Renato Del Nevo.
"If I put the tickets online, they're going to sell anyway, so why not do it this way and the money goes to a good cause?"
The family is grateful for all the support they've received. A community fundraiser in Martinez in March brought out a few hundred people- and big smiles from Melody.
Online donations range from five dollars to $5,000, with every cent appreciated.
"It's really been everybody; friends, family, strangers, like everybody has stepped up and helped us anyway that they can," said mother Melissa.
Now the kindness of strangers, one family to another, will help even more.
"Honestly I feel like this guy is going to be a friend to me, from now on, " said David Massuk gratefully. "He's a special guy, and thanks!"
The Del Nevos are modest about their generosity.
"It takes a village, right? Being a father and a grandfather, that puts me in the same village, even if I don't know you, so we all got to help," said Renato.