Paul Morigi/WireImage(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) — Alfredo Esquivel is only 10 but has been fighting all his life.
Alfredo was born with a congenital heart defect. Because he has just one ventricle in his heart, instead of two, the San Antonio, Texas, fourth-grader often struggles for air, must frequently use oxygen and tires easily.
“And he’s having arrhythmias that need to be controlled with medicine. And sometimes his heart rate goes to 200,” his nurse, Paty delPalacio, said.
Alfredo sometimes uses a wheelchair, but it has never stopped him from pursuing his passion: wrestling.
The boy’s wrestling idol is WWE superstar John Cena.
“I like John Cena because I think he’s a good wrestler and I like how he fights and everything. And I like that if he’s champion, he doesn’t go bragging about it,” Alfredo said.
Alfredo and his brother enjoy watching wrestling together and Alfredo himself has mastered many of Cena’s moves.
Alfredo was able to study those moves up close last month when Macy’s and the Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfilled his dream to meet Cena.
This is the seventh year Macy’s and Make-A-Wish have teamed up for the Believe Campaign to spread holiday cheer to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The Nov. 23 trip to St. Louis was a surprise treat for Alfredo and his entire family. Alfredo was excited before his meeting with Cena, and when his idol greeted him and asked how he was doing, he was star-struck.
“Oh, my God,” he said.
The fun didn’t end with the meeting. Cena presented his fan with a WWE Championship Title belt, T-shirts and autographs and took him on a tour of the backstage area.
There were even ringside seats for Alfredo and his family, including his brother Mark, 11, to watch the wrestling action up close.
Cena may be Alfredo’s idol, but the boy is an inspiration to Cena.
“It is such a gratifying feeling, one, to have somebody say that their one wish is to hang out with you,” Cena said. “And then on top of that, to be able to see the end product, see the joy in the kid’s, and the family’s faces.”
The meeting made Alfredo’s ultimate dream a reality.
“If I’m having trouble in the future, I can always look back and say, ‘Today is the day I met John Cena,” he said. “I shouldn’t be feeling bad because I should just think about the time when I met him. Don’t be stressed out. And just relax.'”
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