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Olivia Hamilton going to watch her Cowboys at Fiesta Bowl courtesy of Scooter Proctor

JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — After Oklahoma lost to Baylor, Sooners' fan Scooter Proctor was feeling sorry for himself...until he saw Olivia Hamilton's story on TV. Proctor was so moved, he decided to send the Hamiltons to the Bedlam game and to the Fiesta Bowl.
by Jenni Carlson Published: December 25, 2011

That, Jennifer explained, is how much she loved being around Blackmon and the Cowboys.

Proctor might have heard all of that, but what really stuck out was the fact that they didn't have tickets. Hey, he's a ticket guy. Tickets are what he does.

“Would you like to go to the game?” he said. “I've got tickets for you if you want ‘em.”

There was no hesitation.

A few days later, the Hamiltons had three Bedlam tickets in hand.

“She sent me a picture with her holding those three tickets,” Proctor said, “and the smile on her face was bigger than Dallas.”

Olivia flashed that smile plenty during the Bedlam game. What Cowboy fan didn't love watching OSU destroy OU?

“First time we beat ‘em in eight years,” she said proudly earlier this week. “It was pretty cool when the people rushed the field.”

Pretty cool, too, when she got to see her buddy Justin after the game. Blackmon gave her a Big 12 champion hat and a big orange paddle, a gift from the Paddle People.

Now, Olivia is trying to convince her mom to let her pack the paddle for their trip to Phoenix.

Going to the Fiesta Bowl is going to be a celebration. For starters, New Year's Eve is Olivia's birthday, but every bit as important is the milestone she'll hit on Jan. 11.

Her last day of treatment.

She'll still have to take oral medications, see the doctors regularly and have procedures every three or four months, but the weekly Wednesday trips from Sperry to the hospital in Tulsa for chemo will soon be done.

Even though she's battled complications — chemo made her bones brittle, for example, and she had to be casted nearly half a dozen times this year — she is doing well now. Her hair's even starting to grow back.

“I wanna grow my hair back so bad,” she said, “but I don't wanna brush it.”

It's impossible not to love this little girl.

Scooter Proctor sure couldn't help it.

“I just can't ever imagine having a kid that has to go through that,” he said. “We'd just got beat by Baylor, and I'm sitting there feeling sorry for myself.”

Emotion caught in his voice.

“She's just an amazing little girl.”

Now, she is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Olivia will never forget it, but neither will Proctor.

“I get to feeling almost bad because I feel so good about what I've done,” he said. “It's almost like you're not supposed to feel that way. You do it because you're supposed to do it.

“When you get hit like that ... you just gotta go do it.”

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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Justin Blackmon isn't the only Oklahoma State football player who developed a strong bond with a young cancer patient. Several others have also built relationships through the Coaches vs. Cancer program, including defensive end Cooper Bassett.

His buddy is 5-year-old Taylor Brandt.

I met her last basketball season ... at the Coaches vs. Cancer. When I first met her, she was so shy, I was worried she didn't even want to go on the basketball court with me. I conned her. I got one of the pompom girls to give me some poms, so she went out there with me with the poms.

I guess after that I made a good impression because she came to the spring game. Her and her sisters made me some posters. Ever since then, we kept in real good contact.

She's from Bethany, and I'm from Tuttle, so any time I go home, it's right down the road to go see her. I always run in there and say hi to the family.

I'd given her a signed football, this little bitty girl who loves tutus and frilly little things. Her mom sent me a picture the other night, and she (Taylor) can't go to bed anymore without my football next to her, which is pretty funny.

My mom gave her one of my pins with my face on it. I think my mom was reluctant to give that up because she likes wearing it, but she gave it to Taylor. I told Taylor it was my good luck charm because she's worn it every Saturday and we finally won a Big 12 championship. I told her that was all because of her. Hopefully she'll be wearing it when we play Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.

I think her family was Cowboy fans, but I definitely have solidified that orange and black is the way to go in the Brandt family.

They were up for the KU game. She got to come sing the alma mater with me. She was really shy, but as long as she's out there with me, I didn't care if she sang the words or not.

Taylor is such a sweetheart. As much as I touch her life, she's touched mine. It's given me such a bigger appreciation for life. To put a smile on her face is the greatest thing in the world. For her to give that to me, too, is amazing.

I'm her Cooper, and she's my Taylor. No matter who I might date here in the future, they're going to have to deal with the fact that some other girl's got a part of my heart.


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