Mario Carpino of Swedesboro was 4 years old when he was diagnosed with four inoperable brain tumors.
At 10 years old, he has had multiple bouts of chemotherapy, scans and tests. He has hosted an annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand And Community Day fundraiser for children’s cancer. And every year, Carpino and his family has lobbied for Jon Bon Jovi to make an appearance.
On June 7, 2014 that wish came true.
Anna Carpino, Mario’s mother, said Bon Jovi’s son told him about Mario’s fourth annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand at the Woolwich Fire Company, hoping to raise $60,000 this year.
“He told me his son said, ‘You know what you’re doing on June 7 right?'” Anna said. Bon Jovi’s son heard about the fundraiser from someone on his baseball team, and immediately told his dad he should go.
No one knew Jon Bon Jovi was going to show up, creating a big surprise for all. Someone even joked that he was an impersonator.
Every time Mario greeted someone during the fundraiser, he would tell them, “Bon Jovi gave me his hat!” He also told everyone after Bon Jovi signed his shirt, “I’m never washing this shirt!”
Carpino added, “I was so surprised I was shaking.”