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The butterfly logo that appeared in Cavs warmups and throughout the arena last year

Nick Gilbert, son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, died Saturday at the age of 26.

He was born with neurofibromatosis, an incurable disease that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, and underwent several major brain surgeries after being diagnosed at 15 months old.

“He was loved and cherished by many people including: his parents, Daniel Gilbert and Jennifer Gilbert; his siblings, Grant of Gracie, AJ and Nash Gilbert; his grandparents, Shirley, Samuel Gilbert, Murk Goddard, Pamela and Robert Feldman; and his aunts and uncles, Gary (Charlotte Gilbert), Kevin (Robin Goddard), Andrea Gilbert, Richard (Patty Gilbert), Paul (Desiree Martz) and Alicia Fox.He was also cherished by many loving cousins, friends and devoted doctors, nurses and caregivers, reads the obituary.

A young 14-year-old Gilbert was unveiled to the public in 2011 wearing the bow tie that has become a trademark and emblem of his efforts to raise money to fight NF. . After watching the ping pong balls fall Cleveland’s way, Gilbert — with his infectious smile, positivity and sense of humor — became a fan favorite and team mascot.

“What’s not to like?” Gilbert’s on-air response that night when asked what it was like to be his father’s personal hero became the team’s marketing tagline, but it also reflected his outlook on life, even with NF.

“Look on the bright side” he told police in 2011 when asked what advice he would give to someone with this disorder, which affects 1 in 3,000 people.

Last October, the Cavs announced the team was dedicating the 2022-2023 season to Gilbert, with the bow tie emblem appearing on practice jerseys and throughout Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as it launched a campaign to raise awareness and funds.

“We want to give a special thanks to the fans of Cleveland for always embracing Nick and showing him support and love over the years,” Dan Gilbert said in a preseason statement. – This season we are using the Cavs platform to raise awareness about NF and the millions affected by this disease. Although there is currently no cure, we hope to help support cutting-edge research with our efforts. So, if you’re rooting for the Cavs this season, we ask that you keep Nick and all those who fight for the NF in your hearts.”

The Gilberts were founded in 2017 NF Forwarda non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for neurofibromatosis

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