Kids Wish Network Helps Teen Fighting Cancer to Meet WWE Superstar, John Cena
Georgetown, Texas – The Kids Wish Network recently granted an exciting wish to a brave young man who has been fighting leukemia, by giving him the opportunity to meet his favorite WWE professional wrestler, John Cena.
Eighteen-year-old Anthony Thomison is a typical Texas teen in many ways, collecting football cards and trying never to miss a Dallas Cowboy’s game on TV. He also loves to play his Xbox and watch his favorite TV series, WWE’s Monday Night Raw.
Anthony’s favorite wrestler is John Cena, but the “Dr. of Thuganomics” is not just a WWE Superstar, he’s also a bona-fide rap artist and movie star who is very appreciative of his fans. This mountain of muscles with Hollywood connections is actually a gentle giant with a big heart, so with help from the Kids Wish Network, he was able to make Anthony’s dream a reality prior to WWE’s Monday Night Raw in New Orleans.
Anthony’s diagnosis of leukemia in November of 2007 put this high school student’s higher education plans and dreams temporarily on hold. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood that affects the body’s white blood cells, which would normally fight off bacteria and viruses. The disease causes abnormal white blood cells that divide out-of-control, often crowding the body’s oxygen-carrying red blood cells and the body’s platelets, which are responsible for clotting.
Leukemia can lead to bruising, bleeding problems and tissue damage, or liver damage in Anthony’s case, and the threat of infection is always lurking. Anthony has had a tough year, even losing his hair after enduring months of chemotherapy to reduce the huge number of abnormal cells in his blood.
After Anthony’s father, Mike, received a call from the Kids Wish Network a few months ago, he was given the opportunity to nominate his own deserving son for a wish. Mike soon received a response from his son’s wish coordinator, Vanessa, letting him know that Anthony would soon be granted his very own wish. There was nothing that this polite, genuine young man wanted more than “to meet John Cena in person and to shake his hand.”
The Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, and their wish funding specialist, Donna, was able to secure sponsors that made the family’s entire trip to New Orleans very memorable. Little did the Thomison family know that their personal “guardian angel,” Vanessa, had arranged for much more than a mere meeting with John Cena.
The family was flown to New Orleans where they stayed at the Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans. The next day, the non-stop action of the WWE, via a ride from their hotel in a stretch limousine, awaited them. But before the match, Anthony got to meet with the very gracious John Cena at the New Orleans Arena.
Mike said Cena was very friendly and welcoming to his young fan, and Anthony’s nervousness at meeting his favorite star soon dissipated. Cena not only autographed a hat and a t-shirt for Anthony, but also chatted with him for quite a while. Anthony then presented Cena with a t-shirt and hat from the University of Texas, where he dreams of attending college someday soon.
“It was so fun!” said Anthony.
Of his son’s reaction to meeting Cena, Mike exclaimed, “It was super! It was worth a million dollars to see how excited and happy Anthony was.”
The weekend offered a much needed break from the worry of recent hospital stays and doctor visits. After the excitement of the WWE, Vanessa was able to arrange for other fun outings in New Orleans, such as a taste of the city’s culture at Mardi Gras World, a surreal visit to the Musée Conti wax museum and a jazzy cruise on the Mighty Mississippi aboard the Steamboat Natchez.
According to Mike, the visit with John Cena and the family’s entire experience in New Orleans was more that just a fulfillment of his son’s wish. “We loved every minute we spent in New Orleans. Vanessa and all the Kids Wish Network staff are super people,” he said.
Mike continued, “It meant the world to Anthony, something he might not have gotten a chance to do otherwise, a dream come true.” The Kids Wish Network hopes that many other dreams come true for this special young man.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Anthony’s wish extra special: John Cena, WWE, Inc., Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans, Avis, Carey New Orleans Signature Limousine, Lakeview Harbor Restaurant, Steamboat Natchez, Mardi Gras World, Musée Conti, Georgetown Pediatric Dentistry, Xenia Hennington, RYT, and Woodmen of the World.