Spring Garden man battling cancer meets John Cena, his wrestling hero
Giovann Green is battling brain cancer for the second time in his life, but the 25-year-old Spring Garden man doesn't let that dampen his spirit.
Green will meet his favorite World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler, John Cena, at the WWE Live Holiday Tour in Baltimore on Friday, Dec. 28.
"I feel happy," he said about the upcoming meeting.
Heartland Hospice Serving South Central Pennsylvania, where Green is a patient, arranged the meeting with Cena as part of the hospice organization's Heart’s Desire Program.
Similar to the national Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for children diagnosed with a critical illness, the Heart's Desire Program is arranged through Heartland Hospice to fulfill the "heart's desire" of hospice patients of all ages.
Green's mother, Lashon Green-Glackin, said her son was 5 years old when he was first diagnosed with cancer. Doctors removed a brain tumor through surgery, but the disease left him with developmental and physical challenges.
His parents say those challenges have never stopped their son from enjoying life.
Green graduated from Towson High School in Towson, Maryland, before his family moved to York County about four years ago, and he attended the Integrated Studies program for students with intellectual disabilities at Millersville University in Lancaster County.
Last summer, doctors found that his cancer had returned, and he underwent another brain surgery in August.
Green-Glackin said there have been a lot of health complications as a result of the August surgery, which left Green unable to walk, but she said he maintains a positive attitude through it all.
A recent MRI scan showed more cancer in Green's brain, and Green-Glackin said that for now, they're all praying.
Green's stepfather, Tim Glackin, said Green is a very loving and "upbeat kind of young man" with a great sense of humor, and that Green enjoys spending time with his grandmother.
"He's very strong, mentally," Glackin said.
Green said he loves WWE wrestling because of how strong the performers are, and he likes the way they fight, but John Cena is his favorite.
Glackin said Green often imitates the wrestlers, and he most often mimics Cena's signature "hand wave," in which the wrestler moves his hand in front of his face with his palm facing inward.
Cena's catchphrase, "never give up," has become a mantra for Green, his parents said.
Green-Glackin said her son has always been strong in the face of difficult situations and that his attitude is inspiring.
"He’s the best kid ever," Green-Glackin said. "I couldn’t ask for a better son."