Brothers Share Sharks Tickets, Stem Cells

First Sharks playoff ticket goes to man who saved brother's life

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area
    In an experimental procedure at Stanford University, Kevin gave Rich the stem cells his body needed to fight the cancer.

    When the Sharks fan got to buy tickets to the Western Conference playoff series, he knew exactly who'd go with him, the brother who he helped to beat leukemia.

    "Special, so special,' a nearly-speechless Kevin Ebert said when he got a Sharks ticket to Game 2 against the Blackhawks. 

    As he put down his money to buy two tickets to Tuesday's game, he knew exactly who was going with him.

    "My younger brother Richard," Ebert said. But that's not luck, it's a miracle. A miracle because a few years ago, the Ebert brothers didn't know if they'd get the chance to see the Sharks in the playoffs.

    Not because of anything to do with the team that includes starts like Nabokov, Thornton and Heatley, but because of cancer.

    "I'm four years out of leukemia and only had a 10 percent chance of living," younger brother Rich said.

    Big bro Kevin shared more than his playoff tickets, he shared the gift of life. In an experimental procedure at Stanford University, Kevin gave Rich the stem cells his body needed to fight the cancer.

    It's been a difficult journey from the day Rich got the diagnosis to today.  A journey riddled with setbacks. Rich had more than one painful surgery.  One in them Kevin said "they gutted him like a shark."

    Then, a few years ago, just when Rich started feeling better, he fell on his way to a Sharks game and broke his hip. Now, Rich is in remission. In eight months he'll hit the five year mark, a date when he can finally say he is cancer-free.

    Rich said, "He saved my life." Choking back tears, Kevin said, "We are blessed. Hallelujah, we are very blessed."

    With the gift of life, the brothers are focusing their prayers on Tuesday's game, the rest of the series and he rest of their lives.

    "This is our time to celebrate and enjoy and have a really good time," Kevin said, adding "Sharks, Sharks baby!"