Kevin Costello was a senior in high school when members of the Dream Factory of the Jersey Shore met him early last spring. He had been battling follicular lymphoma for a quite a while. He spent long days at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York with periods of illness, treatment and chemotherapy. The social worker at the hospital reached out to the Dream Factory of the Jersey Shore because she felt that Kevin was a perfect candidate for a dream. No matter what Kevin was going through, he remained positive, worked diligently to keep up on his school assignments and still had time to encourage children that were fighting their own battles. He was truly an inspiration to other patients. During his treatments, hospital stays and time spent a home sick, Kevin looked forward to UFC (Ultimate Fight Championship) competitions to keep his attention away from his day to day routine. His dream request was to attend the UFC Fight Week in Las Vegas.
Recently, The Dream Factory of the Jersey Shore, flew Kevin and his parents to Las Vegas for the 2017 UFC Fight Week. They stayed in a hotel close to the arena where the fight was to take place on Saturday night. While there, Kevin was able to attend the UFC Fan Experience where UFC champions, top-ranked contenders, UFC Hall of Famers, celebrities and legendary fighters were available for autograph sessions and meet-and-greets. Kevin was lucky enough to meet many of the fighters. On Friday night, Kevin and his family attended the Finale Fight of the television show, Ultimate Fighters Championship between Tom Gallicchio and James Kraus. The highlight of the week was the UFC 213 fight on Saturday night, where Kevin and his parents had premium seats for watching the fight. Tom Gallicchio even stopped by to say Hi to Kevin before the fight. When Kevin thought the week couldn’t get any better, his trip to Las Vegas was capped off on Sunday by a call from Tom Gallicchio inviting Kevin to spend the day with him. Kevin and Tom hung out, shared stories and became friends over pizza. Kevin said that it meant so much to him that Tom told him that they will be friends for life.
This past June, Kevin graduated from high school in the top 5 of his class in spite of missing so much school due to his illness. “Kevin has always been positive through all of his illness, but this trip has made him even more positive and determined to help others. It has changed his life.” Said Roseanne Costello, Kevin’s mother. At the time of Kevin’s last tests, he is cancer free.