Dana White changed the course of one family’s life forever 7 years ago.
There is a popular notion these days to try and tear people down instead of building them up. A negative story will get way more press than anything positive because people want to feel better about themselves at other’s expense. Dana White gets more than his fair share of adverse press and remarks, however, he did what few others could, or are prepared to do. He saved a stranger’s life by paying for a 50,000.00 dollar surgery.
Seven years ago, a little girl was born in Thailand. She was the daughter of Muay Thai fighter, Rattanachai Wor.Walapon or Kru Nai as he’s known to many. The girl’s name was Tuptim and she was born with a rare liver disease. A transplant was her only chance for survival. The family did not have the required 50,000 for the procedure so they did what they could to help save their daughter. Guests of the gym and friends within the community rallied around them to try and help raise the funds necessary for the surgery. However, it was a monumental task, and despite the many people involved, they could not make it happen on their own.
A guest of the gym took a more direct approach and bluntly posted a message and asked Dana White for his help in the dire situation. Against all odds, the posts via the Underground message board found their way to Dana’s desk. Dana appreciated the frank nature of the request. He considered the situation momentarily and knew financially it wasn’t a hardship for him. That said, it’s an odd position to be in to give Fifty-Thousand dollars to a stranger 9000 miles away from home. Dana did what he felt was right, and paid for the surgery in its entirety almost immediately. He saved Tuptim’s life.
Over the years, Dana had asked Mike Swick how Tuptim was doing and if she was alright. Mike did what he could to keep Dana updated, and when Dana made the decision to head to Phuket for a vacation, Mike did what he had to do to make the introduction happen. Dana White would finally meet the family he saved and the girl who he gave the ultimate second chance.
Dana made it his priority, in fact, its the first thing he did after he landed at Phuket. He didn’t go site seeing, he didn’t go to AKA Thailand, he went immediately to meet the little girl he had saved nearly a decade earlier. The meeting was an emotional experience for all involved. Tuptim’s family was finally able to thank Dana personally, and Dana was able to meet the little girl he’d so often asked about. He is dedicated to staying in her life and will be flying the family out to Las Vegas.
Here’s a video from the meeting.
Everyone involved was moved by the meeting and Dana said it was the best thing he’s ever done. It must be an unimaginable feeling to have been able to save a life, and a give a family their a healthy daughter. Whatever Dana White has done wrong in his life, this can never be taken away from him. This will permanently be his get out of jail free card.
The next time you’re pondering a cynical tweet about a Fight Night card, or bemoaning something Dana says in the media try and remember this story. Remember Tuptim, who is alive and with her family because of a single act of kindness by Dana White. There are saints among us here on earth. Men and women whose acts of generosity and kindness are inspiring. Dana White is one of those people. Don’t believe me? Ask Tuptim.