The Johnny Romano Story - Roll Forever

Fuel TV

Skateboarding is packed full of amazing stories - stories of people, individuals who overcame, or who saw something that no one else could. Johnny Romano is one of those stories.

Johnny grew up in Galveston, Texas, far from the Southern California skateboarding rush. Even so, he started skating, incredibly, at age 2. And even more incredibly, he took to it like a fish to water. But In 2005, when Johnny was 7 years old, his family figured out that he had "acute lymphoblastic leukemia," or "ALL".

His parents had suspected that something was wrong with the boy for some time, but didn't know what. Johnny went through intensive chemo and surgery, but all the while he and his family pulled together to raise awareness about leukemia through skateboarding. Johnny passed away at age 10, but not before inspiring too many people to count. It's as if a whole life's worth of impact were squeezed into such a short time - but still, the impact he and his family have had are huge. Here are some things that have come from Johnny's life:

  • Two months after his passing, The Johnny Romano Skate Jam was held and $103,000 was raised for the Make-A-Wish foundation. These contests still continue, and raise money.
  • The Rock the Cradle for Johnny Romano¬†annual contest was born out of this - the next one scheduled for October 23rd, 2010 in Houston, Texas. This World Cup Skate contest raises money for fighting cancer.
  • The Johnny Kicks Cancer Foundation was built by Johnny's parents, and has raised $30,000 and donated it to TCH for research. Childhood leukemia is much more common that people think, and Johnny's parents want to raise awareness, and help find a cure.

Pretty amazing, isn't it? Texas Monthly just ran a very detailed and interesting story on Johnny Romano - it's called About a Boy.

You can read it on their website. They also made a great documentary-style video called Roll Forever. It's shocking when you think about the impact one life can have, even if it's "just" a kid. It makes you think.

If you know of an inspirational or powerful story involving skaters, leave a comment below, or e-mail me about it!