Meet Lynette: Giving Back
Her mission is to help other kids who are sick.
Lynette’s smile is captivating. Wise beyond her years, she has endured too much at such a young age. Yet her outlook on life is positive and upbeat. It is her bravery, her compassion and her love of life that inspires all who meet her.
At seven months of age, Lynette came to her family as a foster child. She won their hearts immediately and her family began what would become a very long adoption process. Lynette and her two siblings, also foster children who “never left”, settled into a happy family life. But when Lynette turned 8, she discovered skin lesions on her body and her happy life turned upside down. Surgery was needed and soon after she learned that she had Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, a rare cancer that can damage tissue or cause lesions to form in the body. Lynette’s life became CAT scans, hospital visits, morphine pain drips and lengthy periods of loneliness and boredom during the long hours of treatment.
On one particular hospital stay, Lynette met Les Friedman during a Mikey’s Way Day. Lynette’s mom vividly remembers that day, “I didn’t know what to expect. I cried because it was so overwhelming. There were so many electronics on the cart, I just stood there and cried. I remember thinking, I have my daughter in the bed and he doesn’t have his son.” Lynette had the opportunity to select an electronic from the cart. Overwhelmed herself, she thought carefully before selecting an iPod Touch, the perfect device to help pass the long hours of boredom and isolation during her treatments.
While treatment occupied much of Lynette’s time she and her family were still able to carve out time for their favorite activity – watching wrestling! At the age of 4, Lynette fell in love with the sport when her family began purchasing wrestling tickets. They loved to follow their favorite wrestlers from show to show. So, it wasn’t unusual when her family received a phone call from Michael Banks a wrestling promoter. But what Mike asked came as a complete surprise – he wanted to hold an event and donate a portion of the ticket sales to help Lynette! Stunned, Lynette’s mom handed the phone to her daughter. Equally stunning was Lynette’s reply, “I don’t want any money, I don’t what a dollar. I want to give it all to Mikey’s Way. I want to give back.”
Funds to help ease the family’s financial burden would have been extremely helpful at the time. Lynette’s mother had taken a significant pay cut to remain by her side throughout treatment and money was tight. Yet despite living day to day, the decision was clear to her family. “We felt so good giving back because her Mikey’s Way gift kept her busy in bed for all those years. She took it to all her appointments. That iPod kept her connected to the outside world. And we so appreciate it.” said her mother.
Mike began to set Lynette’s dream into motion. He contacted Paul DeBernardo, principal at Dominick H. Ferrara Elementary School who wholeheartedly agreed to host the WrestleJam event at the school. Wrestlers joined the effort, tickets were sold and the night became a reality.
I want to keep giving to kids who are sick
The evening of WrestleJam 16, Lynette stood in the ring before a sold-out crowd. She addressed her audience with the poise and composure of a seasoned public speaker. She eloquently shared her story and spoke about her Mikey’s Way experience. “I want to keep giving to kids who are sick.” she articulated, “I’m on a mission to do it.” The outpouring of support that followed was clearly a testament to the person that this young girl is and to the mission that she so passionately spoke about.
According to Lynette’s mom, if it wasn’t for Michael Banks, Lynette would not have been able to give back to Mikey’s Way. “We are proud as parents that our daughter gave back every dollar. We paid our way that night because we wanted all the monies to go to Mikey’s Way.” said her mother.
Lynette continues to follow her mission to help other kids with cancer as she raises awareness for childhood cancer and provides funds for Mikey’s Way. Her recent post on Facebook speaks from her heart, “For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Mikey’s Way Foundation. I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal.”
Mikey would be proud, Lynette!
*Please keep Lynette in your thoughts and prayers as she continues with chemotherapy until December 2018.