On January 27, 2011 Eric Merkley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. An aggressive cancer that we hope and the doctors to this point seem confident that is contained to one spot on his leg. Prognosis is good. Treatments and recovery will be long and painful.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Attending the Big Game - Salem vs Payson

Of course he has to talk to the cheerleaders, even if they are from Payson. :)

Introducing the Starting lineup Kolby Linford

#13 Jake Skinner

It gets brutal underneath the basket.
Eric had a great day today and was ready to venture out..with a momma bear watching all the germs. :) Coach Griffin was amazing and found a wheel chair and had a couple of the great Salem High Basketball players close by to help Eric from the car into the wheel chair and then into the locker room. He was NOT excited about wearing the mask, but I told him that he could either wear the mask and see his friends or not wear a mask and stay at home. He was ready to get out of the house and decided that he would comply with momma bear and wear a mask.

When the team went into the locker room before the game, which was pretty smelly by the way... Coach DeGraffenried turned the time over to Eric and Eric had an opportunity to tell the team how much he appreciated their love and support and how they were like a family. He reminded them that the time that they spend on the court will be some of the greatest memories to have the rest of their lives. Eric told them how much he missed playing, that he even missed practice and Josh Treanor said "No you don't" (I have heard that practice has been brutal). Eric went on to tell them to help each other up and play to together as a team, because family stayed together and triumphed.

I have to say that I was very proud of him. I am so proud of the team and not only of their support but of their compassion. Jordan Jensen was his official escort for the night, and as I watch those boys, I know that every one of their parents are proud of them for who they are and what they stand for! I am proud to call them Eric's friends and as any parent will tell you that it is comforting for your child to surround themselves with great friends, and Eric has that! Even though Payson won the game, Eric wanted to stick around and tell Clint Bateman (from Payson) good game and that he loved him!


  1. Makes me cry! They really are such great kids! It was so great to see him! The boys will remember the talk they had in the locker room forever. What an inspiration for all of them. Thanks for letting him come, even with all the germs!!!!

  2. Phil said it was one of the best pre-game talks ever!! To bad the Salem boys couldn't take it and run with it during the game. The kids were excited to see Eric at the game! Eric is in our prayers daily!