Dan Gilbert needs all the prayers because he just experienced something no parent ever wants to go through.
Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert, tragically passed away. He was 26.
Gilbert was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF1) as a toddler. The disease is a genetic condition that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow on the brain, spinal cord, and skin. There is no cure. A funeral announcement posted by the Southfield, Michigan chapel said Gilbert died Saturday, “peacefully at home surrounded by family.”
Dan sent his son to the NBA draft lottery on behalf of the Cavaliers’ chair several times. He was never without his bow tie. He would see the team get the No. 1 pick twice while he sat in the chair.
In 2011, a 14-year-old Gilbert was asked about his experience with the genetic condition and his perspective on being his dad’s “personal hero.”
“What’s not to like?” he said from the draft lottery chair. “I’m the oldest of five, I have a good life. I’m going through this disease but I’m going through it while I’m getting better.”
According to the Detroit News, the Gilbert family launched a foundation in 2017. It has funded more than $18 million in research grants toward finding a cure for Type 1 neurofibromatosis.
The team also dedicated the season to Gilbert and other neurofibromatosis patients, wearing bowtie emblems during their warmups.
Social media sent their prayers to the family: