Connor “The Crusher” Michalek was a WWE superfan. And later, a WWE Hall of Famer who received considerable media attention after a social media campaign created a way for him to meet his hero.
Professional wrestler Daniel Bryan.
Connor Michalek was born in 2005 to parents Steve Michalek and Brittany Caligiuri. He unfortunately developed medulloblastoma when he was three years old, which is a relatively rare brain tumor.
After his diagnosis, the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania pre-teen underwent several surgeries and many rounds of chemotherapy.
But during that time, he never stopped showing his love for the sport of wrestling. A superfan of WWE, he was also known by his ring name: “Stone Crusher.”
In October 2012, a video featuring Michalek asking to meet WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan was posted to YouTube, quickly receiving attention from media outlets. A social media campaign ensued, with hundreds of people joining a Facebook group entitled “Help Connor meet Daniel Bryan.”
Within 48 hours WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon stated that Michalek would meet Bryan during a WWE Raw event at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on December 18, 2012. And he eventually met Bryan again on October 7, 2013, when Raw was in Pittsburgh.
Michalek attended the WrestleMania XXX festivities and was in the front row to see Bryan win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Bryan even embraced Michalek in a hug immediately following his victory.
Unfortunately the cancer overcame young Michalek, and he died in April 2014 at the age of only eight. WWE executives Triple H and Stephanie McMahon subsequently named the Connor’s Cure charity in his honor, and he posthumously received the inaugural Warrior Award at the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
You can learn more about Connor’s Cure from the WWE website.
More on the story of young Michalek can be seen on wikipedia.