JP Gibson Beats Cancer, Celebration JP5K-Fun Run Ensues


JP Gibson beat cancer. There will be a celebration in his honor for cancer research May 2nd, 2015 at Sandridge Park in Layton, Utah – Photo credit, Jon Diaz

He’s no ordinary kid, with extraordinary family and friends.  At five years old, JP Gibson doesn’t understand that he’s a hero that’s touched lives literally around the world. JP Gibson thinks he’s just a normal kid. He doesn’t realize how far-reaching his story has become, how many people it’s inspired.

To the Utah Jazz players JP Gibson was “just their little tiny teammate.” To the NBA, JP Gibson was an inspiration. Adam Silver, NBA executives and Ahmad Rashad know JP. Rashad sought out the family for a picture with them after learning of JP Gibson’s story.

JP Gibson meets NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

The Ellen Show, via Shutterfly, gave $10,000 toward the Gibson’s cause during their ordeal to help with medical costs. They still went in debt some, but the outpouring from around the world eased the emotional burden by quite a lot for them. For many others the path is much more treacherous.

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JP’s dad, Josh Gibson, can barely wrap his mind around the scope of the story, a story with a happy ending. JP Gibson beat cancer.

"You name a country — the U.K., Australia, Germany, Thailand, Italy — we had a comment from it. We had no clue it would get as big as it was. Utah Jazz executives still call and check on JP.If there’s ever been a textbook case of cancer in a cancer world, this was it. We’re the lucky ones. My biggest takeaway is that we’re able to help other kids. The cancer awareness it’s raised is huge.–Josh Gibson"

In honor of JP’s courageous victory — 1,162 days of chemotherapy in the making — there will be a celebration to benefit other children who suffer from the disease on May 2nd, 2015 in Sandridge Park in Layton, Utah, with a followup fundraiser this September in Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 8:00 amSandridge Park, Layton, UtahFun Run begins at 9:00 with the 5k to followJP was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on February 24, 2012. He has endured 3.16 years (1,162 days) of chemotherapy through IV, spinal taps and daily oral pills. He has had blood and platelet transfusions, multiple surgeries and countless hours of patience throughout the entire process. He loves collecting toys to take to his “cancer friends,” playing sports, and being a “normal” kid. You’d never know he has been fighting cancer for the majority of his life if you just met him. And now, his world will no longer revolve around chemo treatments. HE DID IT!!!Come celebrate with us as we raise money for JP’s CureSearch team that will walk in September at Sugarhouse Park. 100% of net proceeds will go towards pediatric cancer research. Each participant in the JP5k will also be automatically registered for JP’s walk team with CureSearch. No need to donate twice, unless of course you want to! Our goal is to raise at least $1,162 in honor of each day JP has been fighting.–Megan Gibson, JP Just Punched Cancer Fun Run And 5K"

Josh and Megan want to give back. For additional details, please click the above link

This exceptional young man is sharp as a tack. Josh says JP can recite every Utah Jazz player on the roster, their jersey number and what college they attended. How many of us rabid Jazz fans can say the same?

JP Gibson and family with Ahmad Rashad

Here are some awesome anecdotes about JP Gibson as told to me by his fantastic father, Josh Gibson, about their unforgettable season:

"Yeah, he’s sharp. A few games into the season JP said to me, “Hey, where’s Brock Motum?!”JP was kind of nervous before the scrimmage (he was signed by the Jazz for a day for). He was sitting next to Toure’ Murry in the David Locke interview line on the floor before the game and Murry leaned over and said something to him. He was perfectly fine from then on, just another member of the team.Before we came out for the scrimmage JP had to use the restroom. (Utah Jazz GM) Dennis Lindsey said, “Hey, c’mon, you get to use the players’ restroom.” As they were on their way out Dennis noticed that he and JP were wearing the same shoes, Jordans, to which Lindsey remarked to JP, “Sweet kicks!”Jeremy Evans had done a painting of JP and when we went to one of the Jazz functions with the players later in the year Jeremy kept asking JP, “Do you remember me? Do you remember me?” Toure’ Murry talks with JP Gibson before the annual Utah Jazz scrimmageAll the players remembered JP — well, it took Trey Burke a minute to, haha! Trey’s mom Ronda always said hi to JP at games."

Who are JP Gibson’s favorite Utah Jazz players?

"Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke to start the season. Now it’s probably Gordon and Rudy Gobert. JP wanted Gordon to sign his locker room nameplate after the scrimmage.Jeremy Evans is right up there too. Jeremy hadn’t been playing much, y’know? So when he got a chance to finally JP said, “I’m glad Jeremy is playing. I was worried about him.”In the locker room after the scrimmage, Quin Snyder told the guys, “No practice tomorrow, but we do have a meeting at 10:00 a.m.” On the way home, knowing he’d been signed by the Jazz for 24 hours, JP asked, “What time do I have to be there tomorrow? We have a meeting.”"

JP Gibson hanging out with Derrick Favors

That’s dedication!

"At one point during the Jazz season Derrick Favors fumbled a ball out of bounds and JP said to me, “Uh oh. Snyder’s gonna be pissed…”JP plays everything. He has a mini-hoop in the house he sets up Jazz games for, with introductions and everything. He’ll put on his jersey under his warm-ups and turn out the lights, then introduce himself and the entire team, then turn the lights back on and recreate a game. JP Gibson recreating a Utah Jazz gameRight now we’re watching a lot of baseball. We’re Atlanta Braves fans.I mean, he’ll get into any sport. JP will set up American Ninja Warrior courses in the house and launch himself off the back of the sofa and all around the house!"

One of the biggest inspirations to JP Gibson while going through treatment was his little sister Elsie. The first thing a ragged and haggard JP would often say when back in the car after the grueling session would be, “Well, let’s go get Elsie!” Sometimes, when he’d be feeling the pain extra bad, JP would just lie next to his baby sister on the floor and talk to her through the tears.

JP Gibson: Hero

Josh knows JP will make a great big brother to the latest addition to the Gibson family too. Just last week the Gibsons welcomed another baby boy to their growing family. JP is already excited to play with him and can’t wait for him to get a little bigger.

We hope to see you all help support the great cause that Josh and Megan Gibson are forever tied to and intrinsically entwined in this May 2nd in Layton and September at Sugarhouse Park, to celebrate victory and raise money for research so others can do the same.

As for JP, well, he’s no regular ole kid. But you’d never convince him otherwise.

"I have nothing but good things to say about the Jazz organization and the people that cover the Jazz. They have made our family feel like we are part of the Jazz family. The journey my little man has been through has been hard but sports have actually made it a little easier.–Josh Gibson"

JP Gibson has another sweet surprise in store for him from a supporter: He’s been asking for a basketball court. Don’t click the link unless you want a spoiler for what he’s getting


Featured image used by permission from Jon Diaz, a photographer who helps children with cancer realize their dreams. September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, coinciding with the JP Gibson Sugarhouse Park event and an exciting book release. Jon’s Anything Can Be Project was instrumental in JP realizing his dream, a dream Mr. Diaz hopes many others can also attain with your help

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