Lakers fans, meet Sarai Sanchez: A brave and fun-loving 15-year-old who has spent a lifetime battling the complications of a spina bifida diagnosis, including kidney disease. Sarai underwent a life-saving kidney transplant in June of 2015 at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital – and her dad was her donor.
Sarai is a passionate basketball fan, and even spent the night of her transplant watching the NBA playoffs with her father as they awaited their surgeries at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Sarai arrived early for November 20's Lakers vs. Bulls game to watch some of her favorite Lakers warm up at Staples Center. After a tour of the facility, Sarai and her family were invited to have an exclusive dinner in STAPLES Center. And to top it all off, Sarai was able to enjoy the game courtside.
"Being a ‘Laker for a Day' means so much to me because it's a great opportunity for me to distract my mind and forget about everything I've gone through this past year," Sarai says. "My favorite part of the day was sitting so close to all the action!"