FirstBank employee Natalie Plante

FirstBank employee Natalie Plante, left, presented Gilbert mom Jessica Hunter with a check to cover some of the expenses that the mother of three has been dealing with as her 9-year-old son Tayden battles cancer.

FirstBank and the Phoenix Suns teamed up last week to bring a little joy to the family of a 9-year-old Gilbert boy battling cancer.

Employees at the Gilbert branch of FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good,” surprised Jessica Hunter, a mother of three whose 9-year-old son Tayden has undergone three abdominal surgeries.

Tayden is a big Suns fan and accompanied his mom to the FirstBank branch, where they were greeted with a personalized video from Suns’ forward Cameron Johnson.

“Jessica, we know how much you do for your family, and Tayden, we know you’ve gone through a lot these past few years,” Johnson said in the message. “You’re a brave little man. So, we decided to get together and do something extra special for you.”

They received a basketball signed by Cameron Johnson and a Suns jersey signed by Devin Booker. 

FirstBank also supplied a $1,000 grocery store voucher for food and prescriptions, $200 towards meal delivery services, and a $2,000 check for medical expenses. 

Because Tayden has been unable to play basketball, his favorite sport, as he recovers, he was given an Xbox and basketball video game to play at home.

“It was hard to fight back the tears when seeing Jessica’s reaction. To say we’re happy we could provide some relief to her family is an understatement; we’re thrilled,” said Natalie Plante, an employee at FirstBank’s Gilbert location.

 “It’s humbling to work for an organization that cares so deeply about its customers, and if there’s one customer you want to make a positive imprint on, it’s Jessica,” Plante continued.

“It’s hard to fathom what she’s going through, but we know she’s doing everything in her power to give Tayden the medical care and love he deserves. Hopefully this surprise put a smile on his face as much as it did hers.”

Joel Johnson, East Valley market president at FirstBank, said he was moved by “Jessica and Tayden’s story of persevering through these challenges.”

“This is the least we could do to help ease their burdens,” he said. “As the official bank of the Phoenix Suns, we are proud to partner with them to show this deserving family some support.”

 FirstBank and the Suns teamed up to promote Arizona Gives Day by surprising dozens of families across Phoenix by paying for their groceries.