SPOKANE, Wash. -- It was a very special day for a 90-year-old Idaho woman.
Donna Cope, better known to her family as Grandma Cookie, met the Gonzaga Men’s Basketball team on Thursday afternoon.
Cope was recently placed in hospice after her health took a turn back in December. Her husband died back in 2009 and to pass the time she got into watching the Zags. Family members say she clipped articles out of the local newspaper and sent them to the players along with cookies. The team has often sent her back cards and posters to thank her.
Head Coach Mark Few’s secretary called her a few weeks ago, sent her a magazine and a signed card. Her nurses at Elite Home Health and Hospice caught wind of her love of the Zags and through the Elite Foundation, they were able to help her make her dream come true. The Elite Foundation helps put together "Best Days" for patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The goal of the foundation is not to focus on the illness but the person's quality of life.
On Thursday, she got the chance to meet Few and she delivered eight dozen cookies in all different flavors to the team. Family members said Few is their grandma's hero. Grandma Cookie was able to show the team a book of stats, player cards and articles that she had been keeping for years. Few and his players also signed a basketball for her.
“It was super cool to hang out with Donna. This is what we do it for, everything is for the community and for the fans and we just appreciate all the supporters that we don’t even know support us,” Nigel Williams-Goss, GU Guard said.
The real treat for Donna was meeting coach Mark Few. We are told Few is Cope’s hero.
“Pretty cool, she’s a neat lady,” Head Coach Mark Few said, “You need to step out of your own little world once in a while and realize ‘A’ how great we have it and how lucky we are to have our health and to be together, be part of this historical year and have so much fun, and then ‘B’ also understand just the impact on a lot of people.”
There is no doubt the affect this day has had on Cope will be a lasting one.
Family members said Grandma Cookie’s health is bouncing back and she is now optimistic and elated that her dream has come true.
“When you got a fan like that, it’s just awesome especially in her condition and stuff, so really thankful for the position that we are in,” Williams-Goss.
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