Amazing Young Boy Gets Long Awaited Visit From His Hero
An inspirational young man got the most wonderful surprise of his life when his hero showed up at a fundraising event he was running.
Ten-year-old Mario Carpino from New Jersey in the US was diagnosed with four inoperable brain tumours when he was only four years old. Although his tumours have now stabilised after years of chemotherapy, Mario has dedicated himself to raising money to go towards cancer research and finding a cure for childhood cancer, so far raising a huge $200,000 (£120,000).
Lots of Mario’s fundraising is through his lemonade stand, an event that he and his family run in partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. This is a charity that was set up in 2000 by Alexandra Scott, a little girl with the type of cancer called neuroblastoma, who wanted to set up her own lemonade stand to raise enough money for doctors to be able to help other children just like her.
Although Alex sadly passed away in 2004 at the age of eight, her dream lives on and her family holds a lemonade stand every year in her honour and to raise money for research into children’s cancers.
Obviously, this is something that Mario can relate to, and for the last four years the boy has run his own lemonade stands with the foundation at the Woolwich Fire Department (where Mario is currently an honorary chief and dreams of becoming a firefighter one day), raising money for the same cause.
Back in 2012, Mario started a Facebook campaign in the hope of getting his hero, rockstar Jon Bon Jovi, to attend one of his events. Facebook memes, petitions, new stories, and two years later, the family hadn’t heard anything – but they understood; he is, after all, a world-famous singer.
On June 7, when Anna, Mario, and their family were running the fourth annual lemonade stall, one of the attending firefighters said that a special guest had shown up.
“He said, ‘I’m Jon Bon Jovi,’ and I said, ‘No, you’re not!’,” said Mario’s mum, Anna Carpino, explaining that she thought the man in front of her had been an impersonator. “I was shaking and crying hysterically.”
When Mario saw the singer, he ran over and hugged and kissed him, only occasionally breaking the embrace to make sure it really was who he thought it was. Mario and Jon then spent the next hour or so together, with the rockstar posing for photos, signing Mario’s t-shirt and giving the child the hat he was wearing.
“He said to Mario, ‘This is the cheapest hat, but it’s my favourite hat. It’s been all over the world with me and I want you to have it,’” said an emotional Anna.
Apparently, Mr Bon Jovi had heard about the lemonade stand and campaign for his attendance from his own son – the visit had been marked on his calendar for two months.
Mario may have met his own personal hero, but he has become a hero in his own right, proving that we should never give up. As the motto reads on his Facebook page: “Not giving up on something you believe in!!!”