Gathering of the Juggalos turns 17-year-old Cody Morin's Make-A-Wish into reality
|Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith|
We first heard about 17-year-old Cody Morin on our way into Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, site of the 14th-annual Gathering of the Juggalos. After hours spent driving through southern Illinois we stopped at a restaurant/visitor's lodge in the park to ask for directions, where we learned that there was a kid from the Make-A-Wish foundation staying at a cabin that she rented out to visitors. After a quick phone call to the family, we went out to the cabin and met with the young man, who has a congenital defect in his liver that prevents it from producing one of the enzymes required to do its job properly. His one wish was to meet the members of ICP, his favorite band, and he had traveled over 26 hours from Vermont to make his dream a reality.
Cody's a pretty quiet kid, but like any teenager and self-respecting juggalo, he was also psyched to take in some of the ritual bacchanalia -- strong language and images follow.
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With Cody was his mom, Darla Fletcher, a blond woman in her 40s who is scheduled to go under the knife alongside Cody in about eight weeks. "No alcohol for me," she laughed. She will be donating a piece of her liver to her son, who is not eligible for a liver from a deceased donor. "They say he's not sick enough," she says, rolling her eyes. This despite the fact that he has had over 10 surgeries in the last year.
"They cut him open and sent him home with a tube sticking out of his stomach," she goes on to say. "And now I have to give him all of these shots. I'm not a doctor, but I had to figure this stuff out."
|Nate "Igor" Smith|
|Mimi Morin, Cody's sister.|
"We're Gathering virgins. Hell, we're concert virgins. We've never been to a concert before." Darla then chimes in with a laugh, "Well, I have."
The family is back at the cabin after spending a few hours at the festival so that Cody, who started feeling sick, can rest. Mimi is impatient but understanding--Anybody Killa is scheduled to play in about 45 minutes, and she wants to make sure to get back in time. Cody is quiet; you can see in his face that he is concentrating on feeling well.