ORLANDO, Fla. - There were lots of smiles on Sunday, as seven children who are battling cancer at the Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, got to share the spotlight with the former Undisputed World Champion, Evander Holyfield, thanks to the Dan Newlin Miracle Project.
The brainchild of famed Orlando attorney, Dan Newlin, the kids spent several hours with Holyfield at the swanky Law Offices of Attorney Dan Newlin and Partners at 7335 Sand Lake Road in Orlando, on Sunday.
The idea for the inspirational encounter was born out of a Holyfield in-flight video Newlin viewed as he flew back from South America to Orlando, recently.
“Evander Holyfield’s unique background – somebody who knowns what it’s like to be at a low point in their life and to come back and make it and be a world boxing champion – I thought, would serve as a great inspiration for the kids,” Newlin said.
Newlin continued: “For the kids to be able to see and interact with one of the greatest Heavyweights – Evander – who has had more setbacks and more comebacks than any other boxer, and for them to understand that in the context of their own difficulties which they now face, I thought would be really cool.”
For his part, Holyfield said, it means a lot to him to be involved with the Dan Newlin Miracle Project, which he sees as a natural fit, in view of his own life story. He cherishes the opportunity to give back and inspire those with whom he comes into contact.
“My Mama was my greatest inspiration and it’s because of her I became who I am,” he said. “I was encouraged to overcome poverty and while I have had my ups and downs, I became successful in boxing.”
As he has done throughout his life, Holyfield says, his desire is to encourage everyone to give their all and make something of their own lives. Known sometimes as “The Real Deal,” Holyfield points out that the title really means “prove it and that’s what I have tended to do.”
The kids who were privileged to spend several hours interacting with the Greatest Cruise-weight of all time, without a doubt, proved that they too, are fighters. Sporting red and pink boxing gloves and smiles, loud cheers of “Thanks Evander” were heard many times throughout the building.
And what’s next for the Dan Newlin Miracle Project?
“We are always thinking and looking for innovative ways to work with local hospitals and charities,” said Newlin, who is renowned for his considerable charity work across Central Florida. “We will continue to do whatever we can to bring smiles to children who are having difficult times and find great ways to do it.”