Mick Foley Shares Touching Becky Lynch Story
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley shared a very touching story on his Facebook this morning revealing a time that former Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch brightened up the life of a sick child. Foley uses the opportunity to congratulate Lynch on her pregnancy, which was announced on last night’s episode of Raw and forced The Man to relinquish her championship. He ends by commending her spirit as someone who always brightens up a room, and says that she’ll be taking on her greatest role…that of a mother. Check it out below.
THE MAN AND THE CHILD
Yesterday’s news of Becky Lynch expecting a child was one of the best things I have ever seen in wrestling. Life has not been easy for any of us during this pandemic – and discovering something to smile about, something to believe in, something to take our minds off the state of the world, is like a much needed elixir for the emotional toll of living in self isolation. Becky’s wonderful news arrived during a time when I personally needed a little boost – and I’m sure her announcement lightened countless moods, and put smiles on countless faces – around the country, and the globe.
Becky’s good news got me thinking about all the times she has selflessly stepped up to help me on a personal basis, never pausing for a moment to consider what might be in it for her. While TMZ did end up using a heartfelt video Becky had sent to me, for me to forward to a young fan with autism, neither of us knew, or even had any clue TMZ would be touched by the tale. In the video, Becky tells her young fan – who had been distraught to learn that his #WrestleMania vacation had been cancelled – due to the virus – that she will be thinking of him, and even imagining she sees him in the audience during her mania match with Shayna Baszler. I think the reaction of the child’s mother, upon seeing the video, paints a very accurate picture of the joy “The Man” brought to that family. “WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! I can’t thank you enough! I was crying my eyes out”. Actually, I agreed to let TMZ use the video, without securing Becky‘s permission first. Her intention was never to receive any credit; her intention was simply to bring joy to a child’s life. She later joked with me that had she known, she would have put on a little bit of make up. I told her that I was pretty sure I spoke for just about everyone, that seeing her perfectly natural, just if she is, made her video all the more special.
Seeing those tears in Becky’s eyes tonight on WWE Raw made me think about another moment where she selflessly gave her time to boost the spirits of another child – a child named Jackson, who had been battling cancer – seemingly non-stop – for several ears. I wish I would’ve done this writing a year ago, as I think it would have meant a lot to Jackson‘s mom, Danielle. But in writing about it now, I hope it serves not only as a celebration of Becky Lynch as a person, but also the celebration of a special little boy, who endured so much – but did it with such a constant smile, and a strength of character, the likes of which I have never known.
It was about five years ago when I received a phone call from the Child Life department of the Stony Brook University Medical Center, telling me of a very big wrestling fan who was in the hospital for an extended stay. I arrived bearing gifts, and hit it off instantly with Jackson, his brother CJ, his mother Danielle, and his aunt Dee Dee. What an honor to be welcomed so completely, to joke around so easily with the family, feeling almost instantly like I was a friend, instead of some guy they had seen on television. I promised Jackson that when he got out of that hospital, I would be coming over to watch Monday Raw – and a few weeks later, I arrived for “Raw”, downing the first of many pizzas I would enjoy as part of their extended family.
Unfortunately, Jackson never seemed to go into complete remission. In all my time, I have never met a child who spent more time in hospitals – where his stays lasted for weeks on end. At one point, he was due to be admitted to Johns Hopkins medical center in Baltimore, and as a parting gift, I bestowed upon Jackson an official Minions Fart Blaster. As a general rule, I don’t find farts that funny, but I did get quite a kick out of my own children’s fart-blaster – and sensed that the gaseous gadget would be a big hit for the ever-smiling child. His mother said he all but tormented his nurses with that fart blaster during their six week stay at the hospital – and despite the non-stop barrage of blaring butt-booms, the nurses actually came to enjoy the happiness the gift brought to her little boy.
As time went by, the medication Jackson needed, changed his physical appearance, but never his smile. A couple years ago, I arrived at the stony Brook Cancer Center in a certain red suit, and the first child I saw was Jackson. I was a little worried about how to handle the situation, and certainly did not want to take away from the magic of Christmas, should I be recognized. “Hello Santa”, Jackson said, with a wink and a conspiratorial smile, letting me know that my secret was safe with him! His mom later told me that Jackson knew the real Santa could not do all the work by himself, and therefore needed helpers like me.
There were a few more visits, a few more Raw episodes, a few more pizzas to enjoy, always accompanied by the warmth of a loving family and his mother’s indefatigable commitment to her child. I never saw Danielle when she did not look weary – the veteran of so many nights spent sleeping in a hospital chair, and waiting for good news that so rarely arrived. But I never saw her when she wasn’t kind and generous, when in spite of everything she was going through, she always had a warm smile and hug for me when I entered his hospital room or house.
Last May, I saw Jackson for the final time. Danielle showed me a photo of the first time he and I had met – and the little boy was all but unrecognizable; his face having been altered greatly by the medication that puffed his face. Cancer had taken so much from him – including, at long last, his beautiful smile. As much as I wish it was not so, I do not possess any special wisdom to make such a difficult situation any easier. I always counted on the wrestling on television to help bring us together, to guide the conversation, to spark questions that allowed me to tell stories from my own career. But on this night, I could not come up with anything to take away the obvious pain that Jackson was in. So in desperation, I sent a text message to a special friend, asking for a favor. Within a minute, my phone rang, and the unique and charming voice that so many WWE fans know and love, came through the speaker on my phone. Becky Lynch was in the house.
Jackson did not smile…at first. Instead, an even more remarkable facial reaction took place. His mouth opened – and it just hung there. The little boy’s jaw dropped to the point where he looked almost like Jacob Marley on his Christmas Eve visit to Ebeneezer Scrooge, warning him of the arrival of three spirits during the night. Jackson was literally speechless. He did not talk, but his eyes were wide, his mouth even wider. His mother and his aunt were beaming, and his brother CJ and I filled the silent void with questions and observations for “The Man”. Becky’s voice just brought life into that room, brought energy into the weariest of souls, and for several minutes, made a child in his final days feel like he had his whole life ahead of him.
Jackson was still largely speechless for a few minutes after the phone call. If memory serves me correct he said words along the lines of “no way….no way…no way” in those first few minutes following the call. He went to his bedroom, and quickly returned, holding Becky‘s action figure. And then Jackson started talking…and talking…and talking some more. That old familiar smile returned in full force, and it was like Becky Lynch had somehow managed to turn back the hands of time for just a little while, allowing his family to appreciate that magnificent little boy and his indomitable spirit one last time. Jackson died just days later, May 15, 2019. He was 12 years old.
I wish I would have written this story one year ago. I wish I could have expressed to Jackson’s mother just how much her son’s friendship, and her own personal kindness meant to me. Had it not been for Becky‘s announcement on “Raw”, I may not ever have written this story at all. But Becky Lynch brings out the best in people. She brought out the best in her wrestling colleagues, the best in her fans, and the best in her friends. As great as she has been as a wrestler, she’s even better as a human being. And as great as she has been in her role as “The Man” her greatest role now awaits her: the role of mother.