Former WWE Diva travels overseas to be with an ailing fan
The following press release was issued by the Wrestler's Rescue charity.
Ex-WWE Diva Terri Runnels recently traveled to London to be at the side Martin Duggan, a 29-year-old wrestling fan whose bad kidney has forced him to three-times-a-week dialysis treatments -- and a kidney transplant.
"Martin is the uber fan, he's a phenomenal fan of WWE, of wrestling in general, but he's especially fond of me, God bless his soul," Terri said of Duggan, who had to overcome two huge obstacles in his journey to the operating table -- finding a donor and shedding a substantial amount of weight.
"He has needed a kidney for some time, but he was too obese to be put on the viable candidates list to be able to get a kidney," Terri said.
Duggan "doesn't necessarily have a lot of money, and couldn't afford gym memberships," Runnels said, adding she told him to engage in free physical activities (such as walking) to help him lose the weight he needed in order to save his life.
"I told him, to motivate him to get his kidney ... barring some personal emergency, I will be there by your side for your operation," Terri said. "He's become very near and dear in my heart, and its cool that I could motivate him to do what he needed to do for himself, and see the whole process come to fruition.
Wrestler's Rescue founder Dawn Marie said it came as no shock to hear what Terri was about to do for this young man.
"Terri is a huge part of Wrestler's Rescue," founder Dawn Marie said. "She has been with us since day one, and has always been the first one to raise her hand when it comes to doing events to help with the fundraising efforts of Wrestler's Rescue."
Dawn Marie said, upon learning about Runnels' trip, she asked her how she would cover the considerable traveling expenses involved.
"She informed me that she was going to pay for it out of her own pocket, unless we knew of someone that would want to help her in her efforts," Dawn Marie said. "I immediately called on some people that I know are friends of our program and informed them what Terri was about to do."
That led to Majestic Promotions' Eric Poppel, who Dawn Marie said donated $500 to help Terri's cause.
"Knowing Terri is a single mother, we did not want her to lay the money for her trip to the UK out of pocket," Poppel said. "We decided the right thing to do was make a $500 donation. Our hopes are this will help bring attention to what Terri is doing and also make donations, so s he does not have to take any money out of pocket to visit this ailing fan, who is now on the mend -- this is the crux of what motivated [my wife] Lisa and myself."
Dawn Marie made the acquaintance of Poppel and his wife Lisa booking talent for The Ultimate Collectibles and Autograph Show, which will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania Oct. 3-4. There, Dawn Marie and Terri, as well as many other legendary wrestling personalities including "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Sabu and Steve Corino, among others, will be in attendance.
Poppel said he was moved upon learning about Wrestler's Rescue, and the organization's objective to help retired ring generals down on their luck, both physically and financially.
"It touched many nerves for myself and my wife: We have seen first hand retired baseball and specifically football players and the condition their bodies are in after their career is over," Poppel said. "Wrestler’s Rescue to us is the type of organization that retired football and baseball players should have -- Dawn Marie is doing some amazing work and we're looking forward to seeing her hard work continue to be realized, as the organization continues to grow and help more wrestlers."
Dawn Marie said she would be continuing to raise funds to assist Terri in her expenses meeting up with Duggan.
"Wrestlers Rescue will be collecting funds from anyone that wishes to help Terri give this amazing story the proper en ding it deserves," Dawn Marie said. "If more people in this world paid it forward, like that movie many years ago, we would live in a much better world."
What you can do to help: To help out with Terri's travel expenses, please send donations marked "Terri," to Wrestler's Rescue, 1162 St. Georges Avenue, Suite 313, Avenel, NJ 07001, or contact Wrestler's Rescue by e-mail at Wrestlersrescue@aol.com; The Ultimate Collectibles and Autograph Show will take place at the The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center 100 Station Ave in Oaks, Pennsylvania from Oct. 3-4.
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