TAMPA – Michael, age 18, of Plant City, loves playing video games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and especially watching his favorite professional wrestler, The Rock, of the WWF. However, just like The Rock, he is wrestling with his own physical battles. Michael is fighting colon cancer.
Michael can no longer eat solid foods and requires a permanent feeding tube, is administered morphine to dull his pain and needs the special care of a Hospice nurse. As of his diagnosis in June, he was only given six weeks to live. Surpassing the summer months, his family doesn’t give up hope.
When Wish Coordinator Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network was contacted about Michael and his dream to meet The Rock, she “knew her role” and choreographed an exciting wrestling itinerary that went above and beyond anything Michael could have ever dreamed of.
Back in September, Michael was originally scheduled to meet The Rock in New York during a Big Apple adventure. Because of a medical emergency right before his flight, Michael was unable to receive his wish. Or, so he thought. Madeline wasn’t going to let Michael’s dream go unfulfilled. She heard The Rock would be coming to Tampa in November and knew this was Michael’s big chance. And it was.
Michael and his brother were invited to the Ice Palace hours before the evening’s wrestling match, so he could finally meet his all-time favorite wrestling idol. He had pictures taken with The Rock, and received an autographed photo and shirt as special souvenirs. Afterwards, Michael and his entire family felt a part of all the wrestling excitement, sitting close to the ring and watching the celebrity he had just met, take on other famed WWF wrestlers. “It was a great time!” said Michael. “I especially liked it when The Rock did his famous ‘Hitting Rock Bottom’ move!”
While Michael still struggles with the medical challenges he has been dealt, his exciting wish will remain a rock solid memory, when the only wrestling he was focusing on was of his idol, The Rock.
Our deepest gratitude goes out to our kind and generous sponsors: The Rock, WWF and the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of their wish granting services, please call (813)891-9374 or toll free at (888)918-9004. You can also visit its web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.