MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Waterworths of St. Croix Falls, Wis., found out one of their sons has cystic fibrosis this past summer. Then they found out their other son also has the genetic, life-threatening illness.

A group called HopeKids and the Timberwolves Fastbreak Foundation helped the family score an all access night Wednesday with the Timberwolves, including a one-on-one meet-up with star Kevin Love.

The oldest Waterworth son is Carson; he’s 11. Anders is 6, and their sister, Ella, is in between. When the kids found out about their all access night, budding hoopster Anders thought it was a dream come true.

He just started playing basketball this year, his parents say.

“First practice he comes home and says ‘Basketball’s my life,’’ said his dad, Nathan.

And it’s because of what’s happening in his life that got his family to Wednesday’s game.

“I don’t want to believe that my kid is this sick with something that’s going to potentially end his life early,” Nathan said.

But that’s what he found out, when Anders had cystic fibrosis and wasn’t the only one in the family who had it.

Leanne, the boys’ mother, says they found out about both boys over the summer.

“Because it’s a genetic disease, we had the other children tested just for peace of mind and [we came] to find out that Carson was actually more advanced,” Leanne said.

Ella tested negative, but Carson had to join his brother, taking intense breathing treatments daily.

“What is our new life now?” said Nathan. “How long will my boys live? It’s something you don’t think about until maybe you’re put in this situation.”

The Waterworths  say it’s their faith in God and hope in heaven that makes life bearable. And time with some expert dribblers helped make Wednesday night one to remember.

“In some ways, it almost feels like a strange kind of blessing, because we can just cherish those moments,” Leanne said.

The Waterworths’ situation is rare. Cystic fibrosis is typically diagnosed at a very young age. But they say they are facing it head on.

In fact, Ella is going to do a run up 50 flights of stairs at the IDS Center in their honor. For more on Ella’s race, click here.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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