By Kim Artlip, Columnist
Too often, we as a society get so caught up with earning a living and our daily lives, that we forget there are those out there fighting their own personal battles. I had the opportunity this past weekend to step out from behind IGNITE Wrestling and be part of something that was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had as a promoter since embarking in professional wrestling.
We were approached to help locally with a show benefiting Wrestling For Warriors as well as a convention that day prior to the show.. Now if you don’t know who they are, “Wrestling For Warriors” is a non-profit company specializing in sports entertainment production. WFW was created for the purpose of raising funds and awareness for various childhood afflictions, sicknesses and diseases through one of the greatest forms of athleticism and entertainment on the planet.
The idea for this came from the struggles of an amazing little boy, who unfortunately lost his battle but his father keeps his legacy alive through these events. Christopher Holt is driven to help other people. After his young son was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2, a terminal illness that causes tumors to grow along nerve roots, Chris has unfortunately had to watch his son go through multiple surgeries and have his entire life altered because of it. Now knowing first hand how children can be affected after receiving a diagnosis like this, Chris has made it his personal mission to put smiles on their faces, whenever possible and to recognize them for bravely fighting against the odds.
We forget that there are children out there struggling and how much a difference it can make to them just to have a smile put on their faces. You don’t have to be a celebrity to this, heck you don’t have to be a wrestler to make a difference in a child fighting fighting against disability or terminal illness. You can support efforts locally such as Collector’s Comic Con which raised money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital prior to Saturday’s show or any events that benefit these organizations that assist the children and the families fighting these dreadful and often terminal illnesses.
Bringing a smile to their face and making them forget their fight and just experience an evening of entertainment and joy may not seem like much but it’s something that can profoundly impact these afflicted families. If you are unable to find a local show you can still help out by donating on their website at WrestlingForWarriors.com.
We can all make a difference and raise awareness even if it is as simple as sharing an event on Facebook, tweeting an invite or hanging up a poster. For events such as this, all boundaries vanish and it is truly a time to come together and be the change we want to see in the world. Working together we can make a difference big or small to a family who needs our support.
I’ll be honest. I was in tears when these sweet little boys came backstage to meet the wrestlers who appearing including former WWE stars Billy Gunn and Adam Rose as the featured wrestlers appearing. They were joined by Aaron Epic, Saieve Al Sabah, CT Brown, Tony Storm, Trevor Read, Michael Monroe, Markos Espada, Omar Francis, Wolf Taylor, Jude Mackenzie, Kid Cadet, Tony Stabile and Frank Gastineau. Seeing these guys who I know from various indy shows here in Florida fighting back tears as they met these special warriors was just amazing to be part of it.
But the highlight of the evening was the end of the show for me when Billy Gunn hoisted a little boy into the ring and went totally Attitude Era and fired up the crowd with the “suck it” chant and we can all agree that cancer and any illness affecting children can just go suck it.