It’s not often a delightful young lady becomes a super fan of the Canadian holder of a Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Belt, Cody Deaner. At eight years of age, Reagan, a.k.a. more affectionately known as Rags, says, “He is my friend and he is very, very, very fun!”
Rags catches the Renegade off guard…oh, that was a hug!
Rags is a client in the speech program for kids with Autism at Lansdowne Children’s Centre. And for a young miss that daily struggles with coping with her environment, who would have imagined her attachment to such a looming character who goes by the moniker ‘The Redneck Renegade’. It has amazed her Mom Jenn in ways she hadn’t expected, “Rags was never comfortable as environments change, but as she followed Cody’s career she adapted to the changing surroundings because it was simply another visit with her friend. In fact, the most difficult moment was when Cody brought her into the ring at a bout in St. Catharines and announced his intentions to raise money on her behalf. It was to be donated to Lansdowne’s Every Kid Counts program for their incredible caring work for kids like Rags. However, it wasn’t the attention ringside causing the fuss…it was that her buddy lost that event! And the fans threw their support behind Cody by donating generously to her cause.
Rags and Director of Philanthropy, Angee Turnbull, with Cody Deaner after accepting his generous donation… yes she had to give up the belt, but not without a fight!
Cody is a supply teacher in Ontario when he isn’t leaping off the ropes or instilling the infamous DDT move on his opponents. DDT is toxic…so is the Deaner, apparently…
Cody, married with four kids, in his spare time is a motivational speaker for elementary school kids. From his own experience growing up in Port Bruce on Lake Erie, he knew at 5 years of age he wanted to be a wrestler. He has achieved his dream and that’s his message, “Stay Positive and keep your dreams as you overcome any adversity.” He sees that in Rags and she admires him too. She brings her colouring to him and “she likes everything about him.” She added that, “He raises so much money for the kids to make them happy: he makes me happy.”
Cody, and Rags Mom Jenn, have Rags and her brother Josh in a less frightening Ring in the Lansdowne Courtyard.
Humbly, Cody doesn’t feel his gesture is all about the money involved, “Even more so, it’s about awareness.”
The Renegade and Rags are truly ambassadors for awareness. Now what will happen in Round Two? I see a lifelong bond between them.