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Dear Minneapolis, I came back home this weekend to watch my favorite basketball team — the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team of my youth. My anticipation and enthusiasm for the game could not have been greater. The prospect of watching such an exciting team play such beautiful basketball was enthralling. I have waited 20 years for this day. I have endured years of misery, irrelevance and disappointment. I quipped with my friends that I would borrow against my child's college savings if necessary to be at the game. I asked permission from my wife to fly back home on Mother's Day weekend to watch my basketball team. When she saw the look in my eyes, she knew there was but one acceptable answer.

She gave her approval, and within moments tickets were purchased, flights were booked and plans were hatched to celebrate this beautiful moment for a longtime tortured Timberwolves fan.

I am a gastroenterologist and I specialize in "advanced endoscopy," which means that I interface with digestive cancers on a weekly if not daily basis. I have shuttled hundreds of souls from diagnosis to their final resting places. I attend to human suffering on a daily basis. I give of myself because I know others need my help. The reward of this work is tremendous but the yoke of responsibility is heavy.

Sports, for many, offer us a respite from the struggles we all face in our daily lives. Throughout this past season, this team has lifted me when I felt down. They have ignited a passion in my heart that has been missing since KG left for Boston. They have buoyed my spirits when my life circumstances have been difficult.

Unfortunately, the game fell woefully short of expectations ("Invincible to vulnerable: Despite Edwards' 44 points, Wolves flattened again at home to even series," May 13). It was massive disappointment. I feared the deflating loss would suck the wind from my sails and torpedo this special moment.

But you, lovely Minneapolis, ensured that was not the end of the story. Childhood friends converged upon your lively watering holes. We were undeterred. Tabs were opened, and liquid-fire was downed. It was time to live. Tables turned into dance floors. Bouncers were helpless in containing our jubilance. We made new friends and reconnected with old ones.

When you have seen and spent so much time in the shadow of death and suffering, it is necessary to live. Life is worth celebrating and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that. Time flew by but it simultaneously stood still. There was nowhere else on planet earth I would rather be at that moment. We lived and my city took notice.

The day after such a night can be both physically and psychologically painful. My head throbbed, my throat burned and my mind moved slowly as if wading through mud. In such moments it is easy and perhaps natural to have pangs of regret. But yet again, you, oh beautiful Minneapolis, would not allow that to be the case. You filled my room with a warm sunlight. A blue sky beckoned and my new running shoes seduced me into an early morning run along the banks of the Mississippi. Your streets were alive. Young athletes sporting fashionable athletic gear crisscross your warehouse district running between boutique fitness classes and artisanal coffee shops. The once rough and dirty facades have been neatly manicured and adorned with brass and glass. The effect is appealing to the eye.

Your physical beauty along the banks of a truly mighty river is undeniable. The mist rising off St. Anthony Falls subtly reminds me of the awesome power of your most valuable physical resource — water. After all, you are a city on water. That is your identity. It is your name.

Your proud history is on display reminding us of the farmers and entrepreneurs who built mills here for precisely that reason — a mighty river with a powerful yet pragmatic waterfall. In many ways, that waterfall is in your DNA. You are powerful, beautiful, understated and pragmatic.

My shoes carried me on to the stunning and stately campus of your crown academic jewel, the University of Minnesota. Flowers were in bloom, attractive graduates donning caps and gowns, while proud families wore smart smiles. A scholar's pathway proudly displays the rich history and heritage of this awesome institution. You, Minneapolis, place your students and their faculty at the very heart of your city. This university is deserving of the prime real estate you have afforded her.

Upon my return trip, I scaled the locks which allow your river traffic to navigate the otherwise treacherous St. Anthony Falls. From the top platform I gazed out over this majestic scene. In one view lay Nicollet Island and the University of Minnesota hydraulics lab. In another, a sparkling and tasteful skyline rise from the river bluffs. In your numerous green parks that adorn the central waterway, people who have come from the four corners of the earth assemble to enjoy the company of their fellow denizens. From early morning yoga classes and community runs to dance troupes practicing under your famous Stone Arch Bridge (working meticulously to achieve synchrony and harmony through physical movement) these people share laughs and smiles and create new communities. While your natural and historic beauty are tremendous, it is your citizens who truly make this the most beautiful city in my world.

I am proud to be your native son. I have so much pride in what you are and so much hope and belief for what you will become. I hope to enjoy more beautiful moments with you in the future.

With love and deep admiration,

Yoni Hillman

Dr. Yoni Hillman lives in New York.