32 Years After Being Threatened by “Death Sentence”, Magic Johnson and Wife Cookie Render Powerful Message: “You’re Never Going to…”

Published 09/26/2023, 8:10 AM EDT

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The illustrious basketball career of NBA legend Magic Johnson was cut short after his HIV infection ahead of the 1991-92 season. Even though Johnson made an attempt to a comeback, it was never really the same. When Magic announced his retirement after his test results, the world was shocked. At the time, there was not much awareness about the disease. Most common people just knew it was deadly. So did the Los Angeles Lakers legend who thought it was a “death sentence.”

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However, 32 years later, Johnson is living his life to the fullest and is helping others as well. He and his wife Cookie recently gave a powerful message after the couple won a prestigious award for their selfless work.

The promise of Cookie and Magic Johnson

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Magic Johnson built a business empire after retiring from basketball and currently has an estimated net worth of $620 million. However, Johnson was not just focused on his business ventures, he also dedicated his time to helping the community. After his HIV infection, Magic needed some time to educate himself about the disease after the initial shock.

So, the 5x NBA champion wanted to help others in similar situations as well. Over the years, Johnson helped spread awareness of the disease around the world. However, he did not do it alone. He had immense support and help from his wife Cookie Johnson.

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For their tremendous work towards HIV/AIDS advocacy, they were presented with the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award. The couple received the award at the 4th annual Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS held recently.

During the event, Magic and Cookie talked about their commitment to help. According to a report from Variety, “That’s dear to our heart and God gave us that purpose. So, we will continue to just keep going and going and going. You’re never going to see us stop ‘cause that’s not who I am,” Magic Johnson said about giving back and helping others.

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Johnson also noted that it was an honor for him and his wife to lend a helping hand by raising money and awareness, educating people about HIV and caring for people with the infection, among other requirements. Magic Johnson and his family themselves feared the worst after his own blood test report came out.

Magic Johnson’s fear

The 3x NBA MVP recently opened up about his fear during an interview. Johnson said, “What I was going through, thinking it was a death sentence, ’cause I didn’t know no better, so, just all the people that were involved get to tell their side of it, and I think that’s what makes it great.”

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After learning more about HIV, Magic learned to lead a healthy life despite the disease. So, he has made it his purpose to help people struggling with the disease.

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Written by:

Bagavathi Eswaran

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Bagavathi Eswaran is a senior NBA writer at EssentiallySports, with a strong passion for the sport that started at the young age of ten. As a former college player, Bagavathi has been following the NBA for more than a decade and has found his calling in writing about the sport. His expertise in covering the NBA, as well as other arenas of the sport, is evident in his writing.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor

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