Wrestler inspires Proctorville boy to raise cancer research money
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio -- Brady Bane may just be 7 years old, but he showed recently that age doesn't reflect the size of a person's heart.
The young Proctorville resident was watching wrestling with his father, Chris, in October and inquired as to why his favorite wrestler, John Cena, was wearing pink. Chris Bane said he explained to his son that October is breast cancer awareness month, and pink represents the cause. He told his son Cena's shirt and pink armbands were being worn to spread the word and raise money.
Brady's mother, Lorie Bane, said they were driving not long after that when Brady said he wanted to do what Cena was doing. Knowing his seventh birthday was coming up, he asked to have a pink party and requested people give money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation rather than buy him gifts.
Brady's unselfish act caught the attention of Bragg's Paint and Body in Proctorville and Jim's Steak and Spaghetti in Huntington. Both businesses gave donations toward the cause, while his mother also held a Zumba night at their church as a fundraiser. All told, $775 was raised for the foundation.
But the story doesn't end there. When Lorie Bane sent the check, she included a letter explaining how it was raised and how Cena inspired her son. That prompted those at the foundation to reach out to Cena, who sent Brady a personal video message last week. In the video, he praised Brady for his action and held up an autographed T-shirt he said would be mailed out to Brady as a token of his appreciation.
That shirt, along with autographed pictures from several WWE wrestlers, arrived on Christmas Eve.
"He's always had a big heart and been sensitive to others," his mother said. "I hope when he gets older that he continues to have a giving spirit."
The heart of service she speaks of comes from example. They serve at their church, First Baptist in Proctorville, and all four members of the Bane family -- including 10-year-old daughter Sydney -- also volunteered recently at the Huntington City Mission.
Brady's act of kindness also is very personal, as Chris' dad is a cancer survivor.
"You can do it," Brady said of his message to others. "Just stand up for yourself and never give up."