Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart revealed on Tuesday that his 63-year-old mother, Camellia, has been diagnosed with cancer in the form of myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of bone marrow cancer that prevents red blood cells from producing and developing.
Smart visited his mother in Texas last week and learned of her condition while there. “At this point, from what they told me, they’re just trying to preserve life right now,” said Smart. “You can’t fix it. She would have to get a whole transplant, and at her age that’s tough. Transplant would probably be more harmful than good.” He said he plans to travel home again soon following the results of his mother’s latest checkup.
Despite her diagnosis, Camellia wanted Smart to rejoin the team in Boston so he can return to the court as soon as possible. “She’s a fighter,” Smart told ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “She told me she’d rather I was here than back there, doing what I love to do, because she loves to watch me play, because that would put a smile on her face, if I got back healthy and back on the court.”
Smart has been sidelined since March 11 with a torn tendon in his right thumb. The team has said that the earliest he could return is April 27, which would allow him to play in a potential Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Unfortunately, this is not his first encounter with the disease. When Smart was just 9-years-old, his older brother Todd passed way at the age of 33 after a long battle with lung cancer.