“My favorite memory of the wish 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.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 2017): Wish Kid John loves watching courageous bull riding athletes compete in professional competitions. He dreams of being a bull rider, and lives his passion vicariously through watching his idols perform.
When John was a toddler, he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Since then, he’s been dealing with the daily challenges of his condition. Knowing the magic that a dream coming true brings, Kid’s Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life threatening illnesses, entered the arena and took the bull by the horns creating John’s ultimate wish.
John and his parents were flown to Nashville, courtesy of Kids Wish Network. After arriving and checking into the beautiful Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, the family headed out to explore Nashville’s southern roots at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The family later experienced more of Nashville’s local flavor, having dinner at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon.
The following day, the family explored some of Nashville’s historic sites, attending the comedic Redneck Comedy Bus Tour.
Then it was finally time for the wish’s main event, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Music City Knockout. John and his family enjoyed VIP seating, watching the bull riding competition from front row seats. He was also invited backstage to meet many of the professional riders including Kaique Pacheco, Ryan Dirteater, Matt Triplett and Lachlan Richardson. 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.” John also brought his treasured Bible on the wish, and it’s taken on even more of a special meaning after all the riders signed it for him.
The next day was filled with more adventures. The family enjoyed a tropical escape with lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, followed by more fun at PBR’s Fan Zone, and another evening of bull riding competitions.
“It’s so exciting when a child gets to experience something that holds so much meaning for them,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella. “We feel so honored to further inspire kids to believe in their dreams.”
“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 Donna. “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.”