Denfeld News

Oct. 1, 2009
Minnesota Sun

Golden Valley business is a boy's dream come true
By Sue Webber

A sleek black stretch limo glided to a stop in front of a Golden Valley business one recent sunny Sunday.

Six young people climbed out, along with two adults.

Courtesy of Wishes & More, the group had a date with professional wrestler Lenny Lane, who would spend the next two hours showing the young people wrestling moves in the ring.

Lane, 38, who works construction and still wrestles professionally in the U.S. and abroad, also offers wrestling camps for kids, as well as personal training for adults.

Two years ago, he began offering birthday party packages for youngsters whose parents want to treat them and their friends to two hours of trained instruction in the ring.

But he offers other customized parties as well, including high school graduation parties, and surprise parties. Last week's was one of those customized parties.

Wishes & More is an organization that grants wishes for children between birth and age 19 who have a terminal or life-threatening condition that requires ongoing treatment.

The honored child on this Sunday was Isaac Ryherd, 9, of Chaska, who was born with a kidney condition that has resulted in his receiving three kidney transplants: in January and August 2001, and in July 2008.

His mother, Melissa, youth director at Minnewashta Church, said the wrestling party was "a celebration that we've made it this far."

"Isaac is doing great, absolutely wonderful," Melissa said. "He's a huge wrestling fan. He's been looking forward to this for some time."

His party guests were his brothers, Tyus, 11, and Zakk, 13, plus the man who donated the third kidney, Jeff Loftis, and the three Loftis offspring, Dreven, 11, Canyon, 13, and Brittney, 15.

"The donor and his kids have become a vital part of our family," Melissa said.

Loftis, a professional musician who runs his own entertainment/sports management firm, said he first heard about Isaac's need for a kidney when his son, Dreven, and Isaac's brother, Tyus, played on the same football team. Loftis had known the family for three months when he offered to be a donor for Isaac.

"I live half a block from them, but I only knew them for 10 months from the time I met them to the day they cut me open," he said. "I have three kids of my own who are totally healthy, and here was a little kid who couldn't play outside or do anything. If one of my kids needed a kidney, I'd be absolutely angry if everyone I knew didn't do everything they could do to help."

Isaac clearly has his energy back; he rarely stopped moving on the day of his celebration party.

After offering some instruction on warming up, including the proper way to do push-ups and squats - plus a few jumping jacks - Lane said, "This is your chance to get in the ring and learn the things that your favorite wrestlers do on TV."

More instruction and chances to try out the moves followed in the ring - somersaults, headlocks, running the ropes, assuming "a character," the proper way to fall on the mat, and how to leap onto the map from the ropes.

Yellow and black balloons decorated a table where the young people were served cake and pop, putting a cap on a day to remember.

Lane said he hosts several children's parties a month, but has booked as many as three in one day.

Lenny "Lane" Carlson was born and raised in Duluth, Minn., where he played football and basketball at Denfeld High School.

He majored in law enforcement at Hibbing Community College, and also played basketball there.

Lane made his professional debut in 1995, after training for several months with the "Trainer of Champions," Eddie Sharkey. Lane has wrestled for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Total Nonstop Action (TNA) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).

On Aug. 19, 1999, he captured the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship from Rey Mysterio, Jr.

Lane and his wife, Adrian, live in Mound.

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