Young Amputee Has Zoom Meeting With Basketball Star

In April 2014 when Staten Island-based Global Medical Relief Fund learned 9 year-old Aldrin Tadic lost his leg because of a flying piece of metal during a typhoon in the Philippines, Elissa Montanti, the organization’s founder, arranged for Aldrin and his mom to come to the United States to receive a prosthesis.

Aldrin’s journey to recovery hasn’t been easy. He has suffered several infections and bone growth in his leg.

And this year, after waiting five months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Aldrin has now received another prosthesis thanks to the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital. Now 11, Aldrin has persevered through multiple surgeries and treatments to receive and be refitted for his prosthetic leg.

This year marks Aldrin’s fourth visit to GMRF’s Dare to Dream House in Arrochar, a home that provides lodging and housing for children receiving care and treatment.

Aldrin loves to play basketball and has dreams of becoming a professional player and his wish — before he returned to his native country — was to meet a professional basketball player.

Elissa worked her magic. Hall of Famer and eight-time All-Star NBA Cares Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo agreed to a virtual visit with Aldrin.

Mutombo played 18 seasons in the NBA and Is regarded as one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players of all time.

“The Zoom went great and Aldrin was over the moon,” Elissa said. “And Aldrin was star struck. Dikembe is a true sweetheart. We spoke for 30 minutes. He told Aldrin to not give up, to keep playing basketball and to eat his vegetables. He also said he wants to come and visit the Dare to Dream House and meet our kids — of course, when we are able to bring them again.”

In Aldrin’s spare time, he loves to watch videos, play basketball, sing and rap in Tagalog for staffers and other GMRF families.

Aldrin will be returning home after seven months under the care of Philadelphia Shriners Hospital.

“Aldrin’s treatment was delayed by COVID-19 shutdowns, but he has now successfully received his new prosthetic leg,” Elissa adds. “After their extended stay, Aldrin and his mother, Aimee, are more than eager to reunite with their family, especially his four sisters...We have been so proud to see Aldrin’s progress over the years and we can’t wait to watch him grow up and follow his dream to become a professional basketball player!”

GMRF’s mission is to help homeless, resource-less children who are victims of war, natural disasters or other catastrophes locally and worldwide, by providing care, compassion and access to free medical treatments.

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