Dominick was born early, when his lungs weren’t quite developed yet. Because of this, Dominick suffers from chronic lung disease and subglottic stenosis, which is a narrowing of his airway. Dominick must be fed via g-tube, is on oxygen every night and even sometimes during the day. He has endured too many surgeries to count, including having a trach tube inserted in his throat at 6-months-old and a surgery during which his vocal cords were nicked, causing them to become paralyzed. Dominick is also in and out of the hospital frequently, especially during the winter.
For his wish, Dominick was able to go to the National Finals Rodeo. It all happened with help from Nevada State Rodeo Queen, 15-year-old Shaynee, who found out about Dominick’s wish on the internet. She had high hopes to use her crown, and the resources it brought her, to make a difference in the world and she decided to start with helping make sure Dominick’s wish came true. Shaynee raised all of the funds for Dominick’s wish through various fundraisers and even sold her 4H pig.
After flying out to Vegas, Dominick and his family met Shaynee at Country Christmas at the Sands Expo Hall for the first of five days of fun. The first place they visited was the Ariat International booth, where the proprietors gave Dominick a special pair of boots just for him. After that, he had the chance to meet 7-time World Champion All-Around Cowboy, Trevor Brazile, who treated Dominick like a king and gave him a special rope kit. With this kit in hand, Dominick went over to some professional ropers who showed him the tricks of their trade, teaching him how to rope a dummy and giving him another special rope.
After that, he visited the American Hat Company, where they were waiting with a brand new black hat to be custom fitted to Dominick’s head. Next, he visited Bob Berg Designs where Bob Berg himself presented Dominick with a custom belt buckle designed to look like the belt buckle of Dominick’s favorite cowboy, Ty Murray.
He also visited the booth for Roper Apparel & Footwear, where they gave him another pair of boots, a shirt, and a nice duffel bag to put all his new cowboy gear in. Then, Wild Wire West gave Dominick an awesome rodeo action figure set to play with. He was beaming.
“He was in Heaven,” says Dominick’s mom, adding “The whole experience was incredible! He absolutely loved it!”
Dominick also got to hang out with cowboys “Tuff” Hedeman and Cody Ohl, who were delighted to meet the young fan. However, the fun didn’t end there. He spent the next four days at the rodeo, touring behind the scenes and cheering on his some of his favorite cowboys. In addition to the rodeo, Dominick and his family got to see a production of The Lion King at Mandalay Bay as well as visit the hotel’s Shark Reef Aquarium.
Also, as an extra surprise, right before Christmas, Dominick will receive a call from his all-time favorite cowboy, Ty Murray, who was unable to attend the NFR this year.