Bryant Mordinoia just wanted to be a ninja.
That was his wish, which was granted thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and former UFC fighter Danny Castillo, who serves as a coach with mixed martial arts camp Team Alpha Male in his hometown of Sacramento.
Castillo, who met Bryant just a few days ago, helped train his prodigy to become a ninja. Bryant was presented with his red belt by Castillo and a second ninja instructor at his P20 Hot Pilates studio. Moments later, the three were fighting crime side-by-side as a green-haired villain wrecked havoc downtown.
Dressed in a red ninja outfit, Bryant was treated to a ride in a McLaren and given a police escort to is first stop at the Golden 1 Center, where the Kings' mascot Slamson was in trouble with the bad guy.
The trio of ninjas rescued Slamson but the crook was able to get-away.
Next, it was off to the Bank of the West on Capitol Mall, where an elderly woman was robbed of her life savings by the same bad guy. Once again, the villain's plans were foiled by SacNinja, but he was able to escape to Cesar Chavez Park, where he held Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn captive in a cage.
The ninjas were finally successful in bringing the villain to justice in front of a large crowd cheering the heroic act of the child and his sidekicks.He then freed the Chief Hahn and was awarded the key to the city by City Councilman Allen Warren.
It took a huge effort from city resources, local leaders, Castillo and staffers from Make-A-Wish to make Wednesday brighten the life of Bryant.
"He was a little bit shy and then each stop he started opening up more," said Mordinoia's father, Justin. "Then he got me to the side and said 'this is amazing, this is cool, huh dad?'"
When he was just 2-months-old, Bryant underwent open-heart surgery for a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. He faces valve repair surgeries every even to 10 years. He was scheduled for open heart surgery before the end of the year, but after a positive appointment with his cardiologist, he may have potentially avoided another open-heart surgery and they'll evaluate him again next year.
Aside from the heat complications that Bryant has faced already in his young life, it is expected that he will otherwise live a normal life.
Despite that good news, Bryant's father said he's never seen Bryant smile as big as he did on Wednesday alongside Castillo fighting crime.
"I'm afraid for when we go home and say 'let's go to the park or something'. He's going to say, 'I'm a ninja, you've got to do something cooler.' So we're in trouble now," Mordinoia said.
For Castillo, he's never been prouder of his hometown.
"Seeing my whole city come out and support this wish for Bryant was incredible," he said. "It's just an incredible day and something I'll never forget, and I know it's something he'll never forget."
Follow Sean Cunningham on Twitter: @SeanCunningham
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