‘A Jazzman forever’: Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz honor 12-year-old who died from brain cancer

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SALT LAKE CITY — After a two-year battle with brain cancer, 12-year-old Jazz fan Wyatt Page died Tuesday in Eagle Mountain.

Wyatt was diagnosed with supratentorial anaplastic ependymoma — an extremely rare form of brain cancer that affects about 200 children nationwide each year. Wyatt “was a warrior” over the last couple of years, undergoing five surgeries and 96 radiation treatments, according to his obituary.

In October, his family learned the cancer was inoperable and terminal, and he had about four months left to live. So, live he did.

“Earlier this season, he signed on with the team as one of our ‘5 For The Fight’ fighters. We’re honored to have Wyatt as a Jazzman forever,” the Utah Jazz tweeted a few hours after his death.

Wyatt also recently became an official Jazz team member for a day and donated his “salary” to 5 For The Fight — a nonprofit organization that encourages people to donate $5 for cancer research. In 2017, Qualtrics partnered with the Jazz to sponsor 5 For The Fight as the official patch shown on Jazz jerseys.

Wyatt was first able to meet the Utah Jazz (and his favorite player, Jazz star Donovan Mitchell) in October 2018, thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation. On Tuesday, Mitchell tweeted, “My thoughts and prayers go out to Wyatt’s family!!! He was so energetic and happy to be around us he was a huge fan! Love you lil guy! Rest In Paradise.”

Mitchell also commented on the Jazz’s Instagram post about the 12-year-old, saying, “Tonight’s for you Wyatt,” shortly before the Jazz beat the Brooklyn Nets 118 to 107.

The last Jazz game Wyatt attended was Utah’s defeat of the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 30, according to a tweet from Wyatt’s dad, Doug Page.

Wyatt was also a huge Star Wars fan and was able to see the last installment in the franchise at a special “in-home” screening before it was released in theaters after a family friend in Idaho posted Wyatt’s wish on Facebook and it went viral.

“We’re just grateful for the experiences we have, the chance that we were able to create family memories together,” Wyatt’s mother, Emily Page, said in November.

Wyatt had also recently begun to assemble comfort bundles for other children facing similar illnesses in the hospital. He would include a blanket, pillowcase, beanie and toy in each bundle to give children in the hospital something that might distract them or remind them of home.

In lieu of flowers, Wyatt’s family is asking people to consider making a donation to Wyatt’s Comfort Bundles by donating to @empage05 on Venmo, or by donating to a charity of choice in Wyatt’s name.

“Wyatt didn’t let cancer get him down or in the way of him living life. It may have taken over his body, but it never even got close to touching his soul,” the 12-year-old’s obituary reads.

“We will miss his contagious belly laugh and smile, his witty personality, his kind words, his hugs and kisses, his good-natured spirit and his always ready for fun personality, and his grace as he endured his life’s trials.”

Viewings will be held Friday from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30-10:40 a.m. at 4506 E. Pony Express Parkway in Eagle Mountain. Wyatt’s family has asked visitors to wear Jazz or Brigham Young University colors to the Friday viewing. The funeral will be held shortly after the Saturday viewing.

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