BELDING, Mich. –
Thanks to the Kids Wish Network and other sponsors, a 15-year-old Belding resident was able to meet his favorite members of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Dylan Odland suffers from cystic fibrosis, which is a disease where the body produces a thick mucus that affects the lungs and digestive system by obstructing the pancreas and stopping digestive enzymes, and clogging the lungs which can lead to life-threatening lung infections. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, about 30,000 people in the United States suffer from the chronic disease.
Odland was diagnosed shortly after birth and has since undergone multiple treatments every day in order to stop mucus from building in his lungs, prevent infection and give his body the nourishment it needs. He currently is a student at Lowell High School.
Odland said he connected with the Kids Wish Network and with his personal wish coordinator, filled out some paperwork and explained how his greatest wish was to meet WWE’s Chief Operating Officer and former wrestler Triple H.
In order to make his dream come true, sponsors in Michigan and Minnesota teamed up with the help of the WWE and presented Odland with the opportunity to attend the televised “Monday Night Raw” at The Depot Ice Rink in Minneapolis Feb. 13.
“It was an amazing event,” said Odland. “It’s fun to watch on TV, but it’s even better in person.”
He said he was allowed backstage where he met Triple H, received a number of gifts and autographs and spoke with him about the wrestling industry, expressing how he had always wanted to be a professional wrestler.
Odland even gave him a complete WWE job application to show his role model just how serious he was.
“It would be great to work with those guys. That would be awesome,” he added.
After speaking with Triple H, Odland said he was surprised to find out other wrestlers, John Cena and Brodus Clay, wanted to meet him as well.
“I was more speechless (than anything), but when I got to talk and ask them questions I felt great,” he said about his reaction.
He said he was able to talk to the others about their previous matches, other wrestlers and the tattoos that adorned their bodies.
In addition, Odland said during an untelevised match with Cena, the wrestler took the time to go through a number of fans to specifically shake his hand while walking around the ring.
said the experience has fueled his desire to become a wrestler and inspired him to do his best in all areas of life.
“That actually made me want to work harder,” he added.
Through the wrestlers present themselves as intimidating and aggressive characters, Odland said he is very pleased to see the WWE stars’ true colors shine through the fact they were willing to meet and spend time with him.
“That’s just amazing,” he added. “They all have nice hearts.”
The Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization to create hope, happy memories and improve the quality of life for children experiencing life-altering situations. For more information, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.