In December while the Syracuse Orange basketball team was stalling, there was one welcome sight at SU games: Pearl Washington.
The Orange legend appeared at both the St. John's game at MSG and the Carrier Dome for the Cornell game. He was smiling that Pearl smile, taking pictures with fans and spreading good vibes to anyone who was near him. Given what he had recently been through after suffering a brain tumor relapse last year, it was fantastic to see.
Unfortunately, Washington's health has declined rapidly in the month since, according to a GoFundMe page started by friend and fellow Orange alum Brandon Steiner:
Pearl has been sticking in for a while, but unfortuantely he has taken a turn for the worse. He can't walk anymore. I'm trying to get this next phase more comfortable for him.
Pearl will now require round-the-clock 24-hour care, a wheelchair and other necessities. I along with many other fellow Orange alumni are doing what we can to raise money for one of my favorite people in the world. Please consider donating.
It's sad news, especially given everything Pearl's already been through. There isn't much you or I can do except maybe give a few bucks if you can to help with the medical care that Washington is going to need. If you ever received pleasure from watching Pearl on the court in a Syracuse uniform, this is your chance to give back to the guy Jim Boeheim credits with taking the program to the next level.
Here's the GoFundMe page to donate. No surprise, the most popular donation amount appears to be $31.