Greetings again from the darkness. Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer is a hefty name for a huge baby (13.5 pounds) born in 2014 to parents Brian and Danielle. When we first meet Brian, he’s a partner at Pizza Brain, a quaint neighborhood place to pick up a slice in Philadelphia. Waldo is their first child, and it’s clear from the beginning that they are loving, doting parents. He’s a spirited and active child, and at 6 months, a stunning diagnosis of eye cancer (Retinoblastoma) staggers the couple.
If you are a parent, you know with absolute certainty that you would do anything for you kid … especially if they are in pain. When Waldo has a severe reaction to chemotherapy, Brian takes the advice of his friends Larry and Mike, and begins researching cannabis as an alternative treatment. Since it’s illegal in Pennsylvania, Brian travels cross-country to California where medicinal cannabis is legal. The next thing we know, he’s been advised by “Dr Dina” and is boxing up a care-package disguised as birthday party goodies. He’s able to purchase an 8 month supply, and the next day, Waldo is getting his first dose. Immediate results bring smiles (and hope) to Brian, Danielle, and Waldo.
Much of the footage we see was shot by Brian on a video recorder he received at a baby shower. Tommy Avallone (THE BILL MURRAY STORIES: LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MYTHICAL MAN, 2018) turns the footage into a story, and better yet, a love letter from father to son. Brian and Danielle are devoted parents, but it’s Waldo who will steal your heart. His smile will lift you up, and his dancing will have you beaming.
We learn that in April 2016, Pennsylvania passed a bill legalizing medicinal cannabis; however, since the process of bringing it to market was going to last a couple of year, Brian and Danielle packed up Waldo and headed to the west coast. To categorize their plan as non-existent would not be an understatement, yet they knew this was necessary for their son’s health. You might cry a little. You’ll certainly smile plenty. And hopefully, we’ll all be a bit more empathetic and understanding towards parents … we don’t always know what they’re dealing with. Never underestimate what parents will do for their kids.