Bradley Walsh thought he was going to a St. John’s Ford dealership Wednesday morning to see if his brother and sister-in-law were going to buy a new vehicle.
Instead, Walsh was ambushed by a blue-faced man with pointed ears and a megaphone.
“Bradley Walsh — I am the Experience Genie, and this is your dream day,” he said.
Wednesday was indeed a special day for Walsh, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 and is now undergoing treatment for brain cancer. I Am Genie Foundation granted the Bay Bulls native a dream day jam-packed with activity. It was entirely unexpected.
“It’s a grand piece of trickery on everybody’s part, especially my mother,” Walsh told reporters outside the Cabot Ford Lincoln dealership.
“She told me last night that the appointment I was supposed to have on Friday was pushed back to today. Never thought anything of it. Got up this morning and got ready to go to the doctor’s appointment, and next thing you know I’m coming out to look at my sister-in-law’s new Jeep, and then the rest is history.”
Walsh and the Experience Genie were set to spend the day driving a Ford Mustang GT Convertible to various appointments — none of which were of the medical sort.
There was a recording session with former Great Big Sea member Darrell Power, lunch at Eat Clean Healthy Grill and Juice Bar, a massage and overnight stay at Monastery Spa & Suites and a five-course dinner at Raymonds restaurant.
“I’m better than a doctor, aren’t I,” joked the Genie, who goes by the name of Joshua Dawson when his face is not blue.
Dawson came across Walsh earlier this year at an I Am Genie Foundation event in January featuring health-and-fitness author Gabrielle Bernstein. Walsh shared his story during the event and Dawson was moved.
Walsh was also the recipient of VIP tickets to all upcoming I Am Genie Foundation events, including Deepak Chopra’s talk at Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay Aug. 2. He admittedly already had a ticket purchased for that event. Walsh has read his book “Super Brain” (co-authored by Rudolph Tanzi) three times.
“I think that’s going to be pretty cool, to meet him in person.”
As for Wednesday, Walsh was particularly excited about the massage.
“I think my body is bruised, battered and broken. I could definitely use a massage.”
Treatment of his initial tumour required two surgeries. The re-emergence of the tumour in 2013 caused Walsh to suffer a seizure that resulted in a six-day coma.
Since then, he’s had 30 radiation treatments and 11 chemotherapy sessions. One more of the latter treatments awaits.
“I’ve found out just how many friends I really do have,” said Walsh. “It’s a nice feeling.”
Walsh’s father, David Walsh, was impressed by I Am Genie Foundation’s generosity and the continued support others have shown his son.
“Anything that’s positive has got to be a help, and Brad’s a fighter anyway. He’s got an awful lot of friends. …. He’s looking forward to getting better. He’s not giving up. That’s the way he is. If anyone is going to beat this, he’s going to do it.”