Wearing a navy blazer adorned with an orange ribbon, Perry dabbed the tears from her eyes as she spoke about the past year without her son.
“The first few months were really rough,” she said. “But I knew I had to get that strength every day to get up and keep going.”
She said she tries to find joy by doing things D’Sean would have enjoyed. This inspired the founding of the “D’Sean Emir Perry Spirit of the Cavaliers LLC” to support community causes important to her son, such as a bike drive in his hometown of Miami.
Happy, who was supported by members of her family seated in the front row of the auditorium as well as head football coach Tony Elliott and other Cavalier players, shared common ground with those on stage. One was Tracy Walls, a Nashville resident who lost her 15-year-old son, Edgar J. Utley, to gun violence in February 2021.