This Incredible Make-A-Wish Teenager Went to the Gathering of the Juggalos, Got a Lap Dance
By Daniel Hill and Drew Ailes
Nate "Igor" Smith Cody Morin, juggalo and Make-A-Wish recipient.
We first heard about 17-year old Cody Morin on our way in to 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 has 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's also psyched to see some titties.
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."
With the two of them were Cody's sister, Mimi Morin, and his best friend, Alias Foster. "He's my brother," Cody explains. "We are really close." Alias is a fresh-faced 17-year-old landscaper by trade with an interest in underwater welding. "The mortality rate is really high with that profession, though," he says. Alias rolls a blunt and explains to us that this is the first time any of them have ever been to a concert.
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 to 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 want to make sure to get back in time. Cody is quiet; you can see in his face that he is concentrating on feeling well.
On the subject of Cody's illness, Alias speaks with the kind of unintentional callousness that only a teenager is capable of. "It's kind of a blessing in disguise," he says, "because otherwise we wouldn't have gotten to do this."
Nate "Igor" Smith Alias, sitting in Cody's wheelchair. Of course.