In March 2014, Rodney was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a brain tumor. Before he knew it, he was going in for surgery to remove the cancer.
Those were trying times for both him and his family, but they pushed through the many hospital visits and painful treatment in hopes of a better future.
During their journey, they were approached with the opportunity to receive a wish. What could be better than to lift Rodney’s spirits than something that he has always dreamed of – watching the most epic Wrestling event of all time, WrestleMania, in person! Growing up in Samoa, he watched his favorite wrestlers compete on WWE alongside his family. He and his two older brothers loved watching the entertaining sport together, and when Rodney came to Oahu, he began to miss those simple moments sitting in front of the TV with his brothers.
Little did Rodney know that he would be seeing his brothers very soon...But his parents wanted the entire experience to be a surprise! So his wish granters, Matt and Julie Lichtenauer, helped set up an awesome WWE themed wish reveal party where Rodney was in for not one, but two big surprises! Walking into the party, Rodney saw a large sign that said “You are going to WrestleMania 31!”. He was absolutely ecstatic! And then he was told that his brothers would be going on the trip with him, and they would be arriving in Hawaii in just a few days! Needless to say Rodney couldn’t stop smiling.
“When he saw his brothers, he lit up”, said his mom, Tammy. “We were so happy that we could all go together.”
With his brothers on board, the WWE fan family were off to California to see the biggest event in entertainment wrestling.
From John Cena to Brock Lesner and the Bella twins, Rodney and his family met all the biggest names in wrestling. “His favorite part was meeting all the stars”, said Tammy.
But even better than that, was that his entire family was with him on the trip of a lifetime.
“His self esteem is greater now. He is looking forward to the end of treatment.”
Rodney left his wish with more confidence and a greater strength to fight on. He was inspired by the strength of his idols, to knock down his cancer, and with just one more cycle of chemotherapy left, he is feeling stronger than ever before.