Wish kid Tyler’s one true wish has an educational inspiration: his love for geography in school in Rumford, Maine, led him to learn about Japan. Through this, Tyler developed a fascination for Japanese culture and the sport of Sumo Wrestling. When the California Sumo Association held its annual U.S. Sumo Open in LA, Tyler, his family, and friend Michael traveled to California for this sumo-sized event.
While Tyler lives with muscular dystrophy, it didn’t stop him from participating in practice with the sumo wrestlers while he was there. The group was very excited to have Tyler so interested in their sport and made an extra special effort to help him participate.
Tyler was also a guest of honor at a dinner program featuring Grand Sumo Champion Musashimaru from Japan. Musashimaru gave the excited Tyler a gold medal, trophy, and even made him an honorary member of the U.S. Sumo Federation!
Larry Brann, a wrestler new to the national sport of Japan, encouraged Tyler to adopt the Sumo philosophy: “Never give up, always move forward, and keep your mind empty of negative thoughts.” Brann wore Tyler’s name on his wristband during the Open, and all the other wrestlers approached Tyler for a lucky high-five before they entered the ring.
While at the Open, Tyler also enjoyed watching Japanese dance and sampling the cuisine. He is steadfast in his conclusion that one need not like sushi to appreciate Japanese culture.
Special thanks to: US Airways, FedEx, Universal Studios Hollywood, Japan American Society, Wish Granters Deb and Jean Boudreau, Adopt-A-Wish Sponsors Pape Chevrolet.