The Make a Wish Foundation gives children who have life-threatening conditions, aged 2 1/2 to 17, a chance to make one of their wishes come true.
While some aspects have been changed, i.e. hunting has now been restricted after protests, most children seek to meet and play with their sports favorites. For Benjamin Doyle, aged 16, his wish was to bowl with Sean Rash. Doyle had been a fan of Rash’s since he first came onto the PBA circuit. Benjamin is a brain cancer patient from Casper, Wyo.
The wish came true in Las Vegas during the USBC Masters at Sunset Station on Jan. 28, 2012. At Strike Zone Bowling Center, he met Sean Rash and then spent over an hour bowling with him.
This is not the first time that Sean Rash has given back to his fans. During the World Series of Bowling, he met with Danny McCarty, a 10-year-old with brittle bone disease. According to the PBA, Mr. Rash believes the opportunities are touching. “They battle through things that are life-threatening, but in reality, they’re human beings just like you and me, and that’s what matters most,” he said. I believe it is quotes like this from our PBA bowlers that show the incredible heart that they have. While not always in the public light as much as NBA and NFL players, they also aren’t the ones hitting the tabloids for domestic violence or DUI. They are just there, quietly earning their living bowling, and giving back to their communities.
Doyle is not just a fan of bowling; he’s quite the bowler himself. A 10th grader, he plays on his youth league where he carries a 208 average. Not only did Sean Rash bowl with him, he gave him tips and tricks on ways to improve his game. The lessons Rash gave must have really been good ones, as Doyle came back after the lessons bowling six strikes in a row. Rash worked with him on his follow-through and his balance. The experience and tips provided are something the Benjamin Doyle will be able to keep and adhere to, improving his youth-league scoring. I’m in awe of how someone with such a harsh and debilitating disease can overcome his disability to have such a good average.
The PBA tour is often on the Make a Wish Foundation’s list of wishes. Earlier granted wishes have included 13-time PBA Champion Chris Barnes bowling and giving a lesson to David Richards Jr., a 6-year-old with Brachioplexus and Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. Another granted wish saw Walter Ray Williams Jr. bowling with Eric Mandzuch, a 15-year-old with eye cancer. Mandzuch held his own in that match, barely losing to Williams in a 608-531 three game match.
I will continue to support the sport of bowling, and it is through these community activities that make me proud to share the sport with truly great-hearted athletes.
Tina Samuels has been bowling for years, and now supplements her time on the lanes with some wicked Wii Sports bowling. Her average in Wii bowling far exceeds her real life average.