On March 18, Doppler made a surprise visit to see members of Northwest’s Child, Aaron’s Place in North Seattle, a center for adults with special needs. Students and staff gathered on the backyard lawn to dedicate their new basketball court to one of their most beloved members who passed away in 2014.
Vishal Saraiya, who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, passed away on January 7, 2014, at age 26. Vishal started attending Aaron’s Place when he was 19 years old and quickly his impact and joy was felt by everyone around him. Vishal absolutely loved sports, especially his home team, the Seattle Storm. In 2013, he was invited to be an honorary captain for a day with the team, and got to meet his favorite player, Sue Bird.
In honor of Vishal’s love for basketball, and to spread the joy it brought him, Northwest’s Child installed a basketball court in the backyard of its North Seattle location for all students to use. The court dedication celebration took place on what would have been Vishal’s 32nd birthday, March 18, 2019. Both Vishal’s mom and sister were in town for the celebration.
Doppler helped with the ribbon cutting of the court and took lots of pictures with the current students. A banner now hangs near the court, declaring it as Vishal’s Court. To show his love of Storm Basketball, the backboard showcases the Storm logo and the banner shares wise words from Sue Bird. “Never let the fear of failing discourage you from trying.”