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Saturday, October 24th, 2009
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SHILOH PEPIN PASSES AWAY
by Dan Mirade
You always hate to get “that phone call.” I’m extremely sorry to report that Shiloh Pepin (known as “Mermaid Girl” from Discovery Channel and TLC documentaries as well as an appearance on Oprah last month) passed away earlier today at ten years of age. Usually, October 23rd is a celebration of sorts for the “vets” of the late Tony Rumble’s Century Wrestling Alliance – it was sixteen years ago today Tony ran his first live event. Shiloh had taken ill earlier in the week. We were looking forward to seeing the entire Pepin family on November 14th at ROAD TO THE GOLD.
The little girl and her family touched many lives here in the Millennium Wrestling Federation. “Superstar” Billy Graham isn’t on my personal favorites list right now, but the man did a lot of good for this little girl. Earlier this year, Billy, myself, John Cena Sr. and Karl Lauer of the Cauliflower Alley Club worked together to raise funds for Shiloh to get to WrestleMania in Houston. The Pepin’s were unable to make it to the big event because they didn’t have a credit card to reserve the room under. Thinking on my feet, I remembered that the WWE Backlash PPV later in April was taking place in Providence, so I reserved a room at the Hilton under my name and Visa card.
Spending that Sunday in April with the Pepin’s was a memorable experience. After meeting up with the Pepin’s at the hotel, we headed to the Dunkin Donuts Center with a camera crew from the Discovery Channel to meet with staff from WWE, who gave her an autographed womens championship belt signed by John Cena himself. During the event itself, Shiloh’s mother Leslie mentioned they were trying to figure out a way to get Shiloh into a summer camp for kids with special needs in July, which would be the first time she would ever be away from home. Another light bulb went off in my head, and the next morning went to work turning our June 28th live event into a fundraiser to get Shiloh to camp. My two part behind the scenes look at that event can be found on-line. All in all, we raised over $1,800 for the family, and as the second Discovery Channel documentary that just started airing last week showed, Shiloh indeed made it to camp this summer. “Sad” and “disappointed” are the two words that come to mind. Sad for a family that worked so hard to keep their little girl alive when they were told she would only have days to live when she was born. Disappointed in that they were the ultimate real life underdogs you wanted to see win.
Shiloh touched a lot of people in professional wrestling over the past eight months, and those that gave of themselves should be proud. Billy Graham did everything he could to bring attention to Shiloh’s cause. John Cena Sr. did everything humanly possible to make our June event a success. Karl Lauer of the CAC went above and beyond collecting donations. WWE gave the Pepin’s tickets to Backlash along with the autographed belt and items for us to raffle off at the fundraiser. TNA Knockouts Awesome Kong, ODB and Roxxi. . . Spike Dudley. . .the Kat, and so many others in the MWF for giving of themselves back in June.
That Sunday afternoon will be remembered for a long, long time. It’s nice to be able to say that we raised money to help her get to camp, but even more so, you’d never forget the look on her face when she saw her father manager John Cena Sr. in his match against J-Busta. Half the locker room wanted to get their picture taken with her and meet her. She was indeed the true superstar that day. . .
After ten years of doctors appointments, surgeries and hospital stays, may you rest in peace. . .