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04.07.2016
Tuff Hedeman Grants 8 Second Wish

Since the early 1990’s, Tuff Hedeman and Donnalyn Quintana, the founder of Western Wishes charity, have been granting western style wishes to children faced with medical and sometimes just tragic life challenges. 

Saturday night, the two local residents will bring a wish close to home to the legendary Stockyards Cowtown Coliseum where bull riding royalty will celebrate 7 year old Alex Wells from White Settlement. 

Hedeman’s bull riding is at the top of Wells’ wish list and together with 24 cowboy athletes, 3 Famous Energy bullfighters, and barrelman Robbie Hodges, they will entertain a young man who has twice beaten cancer. 

The Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge will host Wells and family members at the Cowtown Coliseum on Saturday night for the bull riding including dinner, western clothing and a night he most likely will never forget. Before the night is over he will probably be hobnobbing with a few World Champions like Cody Teel and Sage Kimzey and probably get a few autographs on his new western hat. 

Within a three year time period, Alex has twice beaten cancer and undergone multiple chemotherapy treatments. Tuff has been to the hospital and stayed in touch with the Wells family. When the cancer returned, a genetic match was found for a bone marrow transplant. After enduring a “rejection” period and several medications and isolation from viruses, he is now cancer free.

Sonny Burgess, director of clinical performing arts at Cook Children’s Health Care System, the hospital in Fort Worth Hedeman frequents, discusses the impact of having Hedeman visit the children. 

“More than anything, [the kids] are used to seeing somebody come in and give them a shot, some doctor come in, over and over, and for somebody like Tuff to come in, what an incredible relief,” Burgess says and adds, “I think that he’s just got a great perspective on life and achieving things. He’s very grateful for what he’s got in his life.”

His chemotherapy treatments continue to be a burden as he has four doctor appointments per week to deal with the repercussions of the chemo. Wells suffers from severe leg pain, a known chemo side effect.

Western Wishes specializes in granting wishes for challenged children whom otherwise might not get to have experiences associated with the western lifestyle. The charitable organization has helped children of all ages attend western events from bull riding to rodeo to performance equestrian events.

The Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge has become known for an action-packed three round bull riding performance that keep fans on the edge of their seats. That is largely due to the influence of four-time World Champion Bull Rider, Tuff Hedeman, who coordinates every element and attends to the smallest details. From having great bulls matched up with super star riders, to upbeat music and enthusiastic fans there is something for everyone at the Fort Worth Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge Bull Riding. 

Activities begin on Friday, April 8 at the Stockyard Saloon, 2409 N. Main Street, Fort Worth, with a Reception from 6 – 7:30 pm. 

Fox Chute Reporter and broadcaster, Ali Dee and World Champion Bull Rider, Cody Teel will be at Cavender’s Boot City on Saturday, April 9 at 1 pm signing autographs and strutting new western styles at 3317 North Central Expressway, Plano, Texas 75023. 

Saturday’s Stick Bull riding at 6:00 pm kicks off prior to event at the Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX. Famous Energy drink bullfighters will be signing autographs outside the Coliseum at 7 pm followed by the bull riding at 8:00 pm. The after party will be at the Stockyard Saloon, 2409 N Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76164. 

Advance tickets are available at Ticketmaster, Cowtown Coliseum Box Office and group pricing is available @ 254.459.9205. Prices start at $20 with a variety of options available.

The Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge Bull Riding will air on FS2 Wednesday, April 20th.

For more information on CBR, Western Wishes, or Tuff Hedeman contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or leighann@theshortround.com.


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