Simone Edwards helped the Seattle Storm to their very first championship in 2004. Now her teammates are helping her to face a whole new challenge.
SEATTLE – Members of the first-ever Seattle Storm Championship team met again Thursday, but a key member was missing.
Betty Lennox’s personality lit up the room and Sue Bird’s megawatt smile helped light up the other corners. In between you could see the hugs old friends share.
It was sort of a reunion for 2004 WNBA Champion Seattle Storm on the roof of Capitol Hill. But they weren’t necessarily here to reminisce.
“Special team, special bond, Seattle took a long time to win this championship,” said Lennox, who was the MVP of the final when Seattle won its first title. “It feels like goodbye, just not everyone is here.”
Lennox was referring to her championship teammate and friend Simone Edwards, who fans and friends affectionately called the “Jamaican Hurricane”.
In May, the original member of the Storm was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. “It was this constant pain,” she recalled. “I feel this stabbing pain like a sciatic pain.”
A visit to the doctor confirmed the worst and the need for chemotherapy and radiation.
“If I had waited longer it would have spread,” said Edwards.
“When she told me she had ovarian cancer, it went without saying that I had to do something to help her,” said Jill Gallagher, who has known Edwards for nearly twenty years. “All she has ever done is give to other people.”
Gallagher started a GoFundMe and then made a few phone calls. Within a few weeks, she was organizing a small fundraiser on Capitol Hill that was attended by several members of this team from different parts of the country. Hall of Famer Lauren Jackson appeared from afar, as did Edwards. To date, nearly $ 50,000 has been raised for the effort.
The players exchanged stories, smiles and drinks. The connection from that magical year was clear to everyone there.
“Seeing her speech now tells you that she’s a warrior, the same warrior who was on the basketball court to win this championship,” Lennox said together to defeat the thing called cancer. “