“My favorite memory was seeing John’s face when he got to go backstage to meet the professional bull riders… He will forever carry the memories of his wish with him.”
When John was a toddler, his mom had concerns about his health. She noticed that he looked pale, was always thirsty, and frequently having to use the restroom. He was hospitalized for testing, and it was discovered that he had an auto immune disorder in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. John was administered IV fluids, and endured shots 5 times a day. Once returning home, treatment included two types of insulin injections, and constantly monitoring his blood sugar levels. John is required to carry an emergency bag on him at all times, and he’s been utilizing an insulin pump that is attached to his stomach. While the insulin is necessary, it sometimes causes John to feel tired and dizzy. The constant monitoring has also been challenging, causing him to have sleepless nights with the need to continuously check his levels. Thankfully John has recently been approved for a continuous glucose monitor, however it will still require attention with the wire needing to be changed out every 7 days.
John’s childhood has been stressful with all of the responsibilities to maintain his health, yet he perseveres and takes it in stride. He is strong, brave and described as being an old soul. His entertainment does not come in the form of video games or electronics… he enjoys adventures in the great outdoors with friends. He dreams of being a bull rider, and lives vicariously through others, watching professional riders compete in this courageous sport.
John and his family were flown to Nashville, courtesy of Kids Wish Network. After arriving in Music City, U.S.A., the sophisticated and charming Loews Vanderbilt Hotel set the stage for Nashville’s vibrancy and southern hospitality. “The hotel was beautiful, and the staff was very friendly and welcoming,” said John’s mom Donna. “We felt like royalty.”
After settling in, the family visited the educational and inspiring Country Music Hall of Fame, showcasing exhibits of country’s humble beginnings up through today’s legendary influences. “I loved seeing all of the old memorabilia that belonged to all the singers,” said Wish Kid John. After a fun day at the music museum, the family worked up hearty appetites, and enjoyed delectable southern flavors at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon, located in the heart of the historic downtown district. “Our server was so kind and welcoming,” said John’s mom.
The following day, the family toured historic sites of Nashville with a fun twist, riding aboard the comedic Redneck Comedy Tour Bus. “We enjoyed seeing and meeting people from other places and all the jokes,” said John’s mom.
Then it was time for the main event. John and his family were given VIP treatment attending the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Music City Knockout. They enjoyed watching all of the riders up close from their front row seats, and were taken backstage to meet all of the courageous athletes. John was especially thrilled meeting his bull riding idol J.B. Mauney. “I only dreamed of meeting him,” said Wish Kid John. “I never thought it would be possible.” His mom said, “Heather at PBR went above and beyond for John. She took us backstage and found the riders for us. She also took John’s Bible overnight and had all the riders sign it for him.”
The next day, John and his family took a tropical escape to paradise having a delicious lunch at the famed Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. “They had a gift bag on the table waiting for John’s arrival,” said his mom. “Once again John felt so special.”
Later on in the day, John enjoyed musical performances and other fun festivities at PBR’s Fan Zone, followed by another night of bull riding excitement as the competitions continued.
“My favorite memory of the wish was seeing John’s face when he got to go backstage to meet the professional bull riders,” said his mom. “He still can’t believe his wish came true, and it couldn’t have happened without Kids Wish Network. It has given him hope that dreams come true and that maybe one day he will get the dream of his condition being cured. Until then, he will forever carry the memories of his wish with him.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making John’s dreams become a reality:
•(PBR) Professional Bull Riders
•Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
•Country Music Hall of Fame
•Redneck Comedy Bus Tour
•Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville