ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WJW)– Imagine being a kid and meeting your hero. And then, that hero throws you an epic surprise birthday party on YouTube.
That is exactly what happened to a young cancer survivor from Northeast Ohio.
Thirteen-year-old Fletcher Rollinson, of Rocky River, spent a lot of time watching Mark Rober’s videos while undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Rober is one of the world’s biggest YouTube stars. He is a former NASA engineer who does crazy experiments, uploads them to YouTube and gets millions of views.
On Sunday night, Rober uploaded a new video of Fletcher’s 13th birthday party. It’s something, he said, took him eight months of planning. So how did this all come about?
Fletcher’s mom, Megan Rollinson, reached out to Rober when he was first diagnosed with a brain tumor last July. She said his tumor is a PPTID, or pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation, which is a type of brain cancer is so rare that Fletcher is the sixth kid to have it.
“After he was diagnosed, we ended up at St. Jude. I’m grateful we ended up there. He had a wonderful surgeon who took out the entire tumor,” Rollinson said.
The family moved down to Memphis to be close to St. Jude Hospital while Fletcher underwent radiation and chemotherapy for the next eight months. The family got to go home to Rocky River at the end of March
Rober even Facetimed Fletcher right before he went in for his second round of chemotherapy.
“Mark reached out to us in June and said he had this idea. He wanted to throw Fletcher an epic surprise birthday party,” Rollinson said.
The Rollinsons and one of Fletcher’s friends flew out to California for the party on Aug. 22, one day before his actual birthday.
“Mark took extensive precautions and had everyone COVID-19 tested before we left and then everyone at the party was also tested,” said Jamie Rollinson, Fletcher’s father.
Fletcher even got to take part as Rober set the record for the world’s largest elephant toothpaste fountain and the world’s largest devil’s toothpaste explosion.
“It was beyond anything we could have ever imagined. And it took so much time and energy to plan,” Megan Rollinson said.
The Rollinsons are grateful for the kindness and support that have lifted them through Fletcher’s journey.
“It is extremely rare and there is no protocol for treatment. And it’s important to us to bring awareness moving forward so that there can be more research and funding for diagnosis like his,” Megan Rollinson said.
Rober’s birthday party for Fletcher has more than 6.5 million views on YouTube, so far.
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