Thanks to Honor Nation and the stars of Ring of Honor and Women of Honor, the holidays will be more special for Samarra “Sammy” Pirrong -- a 9-year-old who is battling cancer -- and her family.
In a fundraiser organized by Sumie Sakai with help from Cheeseburger during Final Battle weekend Dec. 15-16 at the shows in New York City and Philadelphia, nearly $900 was raised to assist Sammy’s family with medical and other expenses.
“#SammyStrong” wristbands were available for $5 at the ROH Pro Shop at the shows, and anyone who purchased one or made a donation got their photo taken with Sakai and Cheeseburger.
“I really appreciate everyone who donated to support Sammy,” Sakai said. “Everyone’s support is making her stronger. Please keep praying for her and her family.”
Added Cheeseburger: “It made me so happy to see how many fans came out in support. Not just the fans but wrestlers as well were more than happy to support the cause. I loved seeing so many people wearing the #SammyStrong wristbands throughout the nights.”
In July, Sammy was diagnosed with stage IV Wilms Tumor, a type of cancer that starts in the kidneys. Over the past several months, Sammy has undergone multiple surgeries in which her tumors and right kidney were removed and a feeding tube was inserted. She’s also endured chemotherapy and radiations treatments and had about 30 blood transfusions.
This past Monday, Sakai and Cheeseburger visited Sammy and her family at their home outside of Philadelphia. They presented Sammy with a turnbuckle from Final Battle signed by the entire roster and some new ROH merchandise.
“She was not feeling good from chemotherapy but she was very excited to see us,” Sakai said. “She made us laugh. She said to Cheeseburger, ‘If you ate a cheeseburger, technically that would be cannibalism. … Sammy loved the Best Friends t-shirt. She wore it all day.”
Sammy’s gift to Cheeseburger was a drawing she did depicting him (looking like an actual cheeseburger) as ROH World Champion.
“I plan on hanging it in my room,” Cheeseburger said of the drawing. “I met her brother and sister as well. Her younger brother was so surprised to see me come to his home. He shared his wrestling toy collection and wanted to wrestle around. He loves New Japan and attempted to attack me with several Rainmakers throughout the evening. Their mother was so grateful not only for the donations but that Sumie and I were able to stop by and visit. She sends her thanks to all the fans and ROH members that helped out by donating or even wearing a wristband.”
If you’d like to make a donation to Sammy’s GoFundMe campaign, click here