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Stone Cold gives sick fan hope


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Stone Cold Steve Austin shows that he's not that cold. He's meeting with 15 year old Michael Martin, of Newfoundland, lying on a stretcher just before WWF match started. -- Warren Toda, Toronto Sun
By GREG Di CRESCE -- Toronto Sun
  Stone Cold Steve Austin was rocked at the SkyDome yesterday by 13-year-old Michael Martin.

The World Wrestling Federation superstar's hands trembled as Michael's father, Gerard, handed him the cards he wanted Austin to sign.

"If ya see me getting beat down," Austin told Michael. "I'll give you the wave to let you know I'm okay."

Wide-eyed and smiling, a surprised Michael, attached to a ventilator and surrounded by his medical team, gave 6-foot-2 Austin the big thumbs-up.

"Am I dreaming?" Michael asked.

And small wonder he thought he was dreaming. Only two days ago, Michael was in the intensive care unit at Toronto's Sick Kids' Hospital, just wishing he could meet Austin.

"He wished it yesterday," said Janice, Michael's mom, "and here it is -- boom -- today. It's like a small miracle."

Michael was diagnosed with a tumour at the base of his brain which requires him to be hooked up to a ventilator at all times.

This means that to make his dream come true a medical team of three paramedics, a doctor, a respiratory therapist and a nurse had to be quickly scrambled together to get him to the Dome.

"This is probably the most important medicine we can be giving Michael and his family right now," Dr. Cynthia Cupido said.

After meeting a not-so-stone-cold Austin, Michael was whisked to a Sky Box to watch his hero perform.

Michael knows he is very sick and has asked his parents if he is going to die.

"We just reassure him with hope," his mother said.

On Tuesday, Michael will return home with his parents via air bus to Corner Brook, Newfoundland.