Sabrina Witherspoon can vividly recall watching WWE on her living room television and even attending a couple of live shows in Dallas as a child. She remembers cheering for the Von Erichs and Ric Flair but is not too familiar with the stars that battle in the ring on TV in 2019.
Witherspoon has instead become acquainted with the local professional wrestlers with New Xtreme Championship Pro Wrestling, who will host a show Feb. 9 in Waxahachie to benefit the 46-year-old’s fight against Leukemia.
The February event inside the Wilemon STEAM Academy gymnasium will be the second of two professional wrestling events hosted by NXC in Waxahachie over the next month. The first opportunity for wrestling fans to cheer on their favorite personalities is Saturday.
CHOKEHOLD ON CANCER
Witherspoon was diagnosed with acute myeloid Leukemia on April 13, 2018.
Doctors explained that her body had an overpopulation of white blood cells that prevented red blood cells from delivering oxygen to organs. Her white blood cell count had peaked at 315,000 at the hospital. A healthy person averages 5,000 to 10,000 white blood cells, according to healthline.com.
Her body began to shut down slowly, and Witherspoon said doctors did not expect her to live through the night.
“Statistically, without a bone marrow transplant, I have a 26 percent survival rate over the next five years. Which isn’t really good odds,” Witherspoon emphasized.
From the outside, Witherspoon looked fine, and it seemed she suffered from flu or bronchitis symptoms. She became lethargic and started to pass out. The reality was that her capillaries in her lungs were bleeding and a heart valve was damaged from overexerting itself. Her kidneys were also failing, and her spleen was enlarged.
Due to time spent in the hospital, Witherspoon lost her job as an accountant and moved in with her two sons, 23 and 25, in Kauffman.
“When you’re a single-income, and your income is taken away from you, it’s hard for you — even in your mind — that you’re ever going to get to that place [a transplant hospital] where you can afford to be able to do that,” Witherspoon said before she explained her current feelings of stress and being overwhelmed.
Her two sons are the only support system as her husband — who she had been married to for 25 years — died from a heart attack. Witherspoon's mother died three days after she was initially admitted into the hospital and her sister, 39, passed away after battling uterine cancer. Her female cousin died of a brain tumor, and her aunt died from cancer as well.
Over the past eight months, Witherspoon has fought Leukemia with high-dose chemotherapy, battling fevers and infections from being neutropenic. Witherspoon explained since she dealt with a blood and bone cancer, her treatment was extensive compared to someone with breast cancer. Instead of doing chemotherapy for a couple of hours, Witherspoon has to be admitted anywhere from 18 to 30 days. She currently takes medicine that targets the mutation of Leukemia she has and undergoes blood and platelet transfusions.
Witherspoon plans to raise $10,000 for medical bills, living expenses and to undergo a bone marrow transplant once she is healthier. When the board members of New Xtreme Championship Pro Wrestling presented the opportunity to host a show in her honor, Witherspoon was at a loss for words.
“For them to sacrifice their time and talent, and to take time away from their families is a sacrifice,” Witherspoon said, “I just appreciate the time and the discipline of their craft to put this show on for me, and to extend that generosity to me.”
Jerrod Fallen is the event organizer but is better known as The Prodigal Son, the current NXC heavyweight champion who is guarding the title.
Fallen described New Xtreme Championship Pro Wrestling as a Christian-based company who gives back to the local community of Ellis County and Paris, Texas where the company was established.
All proceeds for the Feb. 9 show will benefit Sabrina Witherspoon. To help support her fight with cancer log onto www.gofundme.com/AML-leukemia-battle.
READY TO RUMBLE
During an interview with the Daily Light on Monday, Fallen was accompanied by Ashley Reed, his girlfriend whose 9-year-old son will be highlighted at the intermission of this Saturday's show at Wilemon. Reed’s son, James Blare, is a cancer survivor and will serve as the official bell ringer.
Blare was diagnosed in October 2017 with a two germ cell brain tumor. After three extensive surgeries and chemo and radiation therapy, Blare has been cancer free since Dec. 18, 2018.
“The reason I knew something was wrong was because his eyes were pointing down, crisscross with a 103 fever. And, I poured rubbing alcohol on his feet, which sent him into a seizure,” Reed explained. “I knew something was wrong.”
Blare is still gaining his strength taken from the cancer treatment. “It really took a toll on him,” Reed noted.
The professional wrestlers compete in the indy circuit, which Fallen described as “A smaller promotion than WWE and these guys are working their way up to that industry.”
Fallen assured the show is “family oriented and kid appropriate.”
On Saturday, the doors at the Wilemon gymnasium will open at 6 p.m., and the introduction will include a 10-bell salute to show respect to all the fallen wrestlers along with a prayer and “The National Anthem.”
The first fight between JD Rebel and Bishop will start at 7 p.m. The Prayer Warriors and CW Shadows and Wolfinstine will conduct the second match. The third match will involve Mitchell Good and MJ. The intermission will take place after the third fight.
“The cool thing about this is that most shows do not have storylines, here there will be little things people will talk about that lead up to the main fight. So, people will be watching a story unfold,” Fallen said.
The fourth match will occur between Rage and Red Hawk, while Xavier Daniels, Randy Wayne, Bryon Anthose and Reggie Lincoln will compete for the number one contender for the main spot against The Prodigal Son. The primary fight with the heavyweight champion Fallen will conclude the evening.
Raffle tickets will be sold for gift cards and other prizes, and Papa Johns in Ennis will sponsor the concession stand with pizza and other snacks.
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at $10 for ringside or $6 for general admission. If tickets are purchased at the door, it will cost $12 for ringside and $8 for general admission. To buy a ticket, contact Fallen at 972-825-1622.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450